David Letterman and the high cost of workplace hanky panky


Extra-marital affairs get a lot of public attention, particularly when the initiators are in the public eye. In the workplace, such affairs create significant costs because instigators usually rank higher than the people with whom they cheat. This exposes their employers to the costs of litigating and/or settling charges of sexual harassment. And this doesn't take into account the pain that affairs cause all the people involved.

Not only is sexual harassment illegal, it can also cost big employers lots of money. In 2005, Ford (F) agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle sexual harassment charges and to pay up to $10 million to train employees to prevent sexual harassment. Lowe's Companies (LOW) paid $1.72 million to settle such charges made by three employees. Many other examples suggest that settlement amounts are often at least $1 million.