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Sports apparel company Under Armour instituted a new policy in 2018 that in my opinion wins as the best new corporate policy of 2018.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Under Armour’s chief financial officer sent employees an email explaining that Under Armour would no longer reimburse expenses for adult entertainment, limousine services and gambling.  Apparently, the policy was needed since over the years Under Armour executives, including its CEO, employees and others would go to adult entertainment venues and gamble on the company’s dime.

Although for some it’s obvious why this is a great policy, let’s spell out why just in case some folks may be wondering.  

First, as my employment lawyer friend pointed out when I told him about Under Armour’s new policy, it’s a 1990’s sexual harassment redux since it was back in the 90’s when companies learned from a Supreme Court case that strip clubs, certain types of posters (you can imagine), etc. create a “hostile workplace” and may result in liability for a company if it does not curtail this type of behavior.

Under Armour’s CEO essentially acknowledges this because he explained that all his employees deserve respect in the workplace. This policy will further a respectful workplace especially given that as discussed in the WSJ article, some Under Armour employees found the strip club events to be a sign of disrespect.  

Second, Under Armour will save some costs since the trips to Scores, an adult entertainment venue near their offices, had in the past resulted in employees expensing hundreds of dollars for the visits.

A word to the wise at Under Armour as it implements its new policy:  Consider how this new policy will be policed and enforced to include who will enforce it.  The enforcer will need to be comfortable having what may be awkward conversations: “So…your expense reports include five lap dances… are you aware of our new corporate policy on expensing those costs?”  (I may perhaps know of this from experience. 😉 )

The intersection of law, business, criminal activity crime and ethics: why do some companies violate the law? what happens when they do? what is ethical? how do we get corporations to follow the law? can lawyers help and, if so, what is the lawyer’s role? Stay tuned, we’re going to address all of these issues and more in When the Writ Hits the Fan.

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