June 13, 2012 — On today’s episode, sexual harassment rears its ugly head – not among a building’s employees but within the board itself. Our attorney panel hears from a Queens co-op board member who complains of a fellow director who has been harassing her in person and through e-mail. But although she’s informed the full board of her problems with this man’s behavior – and the members have even been CC’ed on a few of the offending missives – they’ve declined to take any action. Where can she turn?
A sexual harassment situation can prove to be just as tricky, if not more so, on a co-op board as in the workplace. There’s really no boss or higher authority with whom an appeal can be lodged, but as our attorney panel points out, a dysfunctional board that fails to resolve a serious problem between two of its members – whether or not it rises to the level of harassment – may not be upholding its fiduciary duties to the corporation and its shareholders. We investigate this questioner’s options to avoid court while trying to resolve the harassment problem internally or with a corporate or personal attorney. On the panel this week are Mitchell A. Dix of Mitchell A. Dix & Associates and Lewis Montana of Levine & Montana.
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