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No Reputable Company Would Hire Someone Like Brett Kavanaugh At This Point

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Despite what it looks like to some of his supporters, Brett Kavanaugh is not currently on trial. The federal judge is actually in the middle of the most intense job interview of his life, for one of the best gigs in the country: lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s not going great. Kavanaugh is now facing allegations of sexual misconduct from three women.

The White House has stood by its nominee. But if Kavanaugh were gunning for a position in the private sector, his situation would be vastly different in this Me Too era.

These days, many major companies would avoid hiring someone with sexual misconduct allegations hanging over their head, particularly for a high-profile position, according to hiring, legal and management experts who talked to HuffPost.

Businesses are increasingly concerned with their reputations regarding sexual harassment. And a company wouldn’t want to turn off other job candidates by becoming known as a place that tolerates misconduct, said Brian Kropp, a vice president in human resources at the consulting firm Gartner.

Companies don’t want to upset their employees, either. “Who wants to work at a place that hires a bunch of harassers?” Kropp said.

That doesn’t mean a man with a dodgy background would be out on the streets, by any stretch. At the highest levels of most firms, there are still older men making the hiring decisions, and they likely wouldn’t take issue with the kind of conduct Kavanaugh is accused of.

“I think there are a lot of men particularly in positions of power that absolutely wouldn’t have a problem with these allegations,” said Liz Stapp, a professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. ”Public companies are under a bit more scrutiny now. But at the average company, the person in the hiring position most likely can relate and empathize with someone like Kavanaugh.”

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford said that when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, he pushed her down, covered her mouth and attempted to rape her at a party ― behavior some men have described as “horseplay.”

Deborah Ramirez came forward last week and said that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her on an occasion when they were both drunk in college.

And a third woman, Julie Swetnick, came forward on Wednesday and said Kavanaugh was “present” at a house party where she was raped sometime in the early 1980s.


Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Stapp said there are plenty of men in powerful positions who think this kind of behavior is basically normal for young guys. She noted that CBS’s board of directors were willing to overlook sexual misconduct allegations against chief executive Les Moonves for months, until they were forced to contend with the situation because of bad publicity.

And of course, in 2016, millions of voters overlooked the various allegations of sexual misconduct hanging over Donald Trump’s head.

“I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” 83-year-old producer Arnold Kopelson, who until recently sat on CBS’s board, reportedly told his colleagues about Moonves.

A tainted Kavanaugh-like candidate probably wouldn’t land in something like a CEO role ― but many companies would still bring in someone like that to consult or work behind the scenes, Stapp said.

What’s more, she said, it’s unlikely that any company would even find out about these types of long-ago incidents. Companies don’t dig that deep ― particularly for sexual misconduct allegations.

Still, the Me Too movement has shaken things up.

Even in the male-dominated world of finance, typically a safe haven for men with old-fashioned ideas about women, firms are much more wary of the optics where sexual misconduct is concerned, said John Singer, a New York attorney who represents more than a dozen men in the securities and entertainment industries who have faced accusations of harassment or other misconduct.

Banks and other companies are now more likely to publicly announce a firing over misconduct ― something that just wasn’t done before ― and a lot less likely to take a chance on someone with a tainted past.

The change in attitude happened right after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last fall, Singer said.

“Pre-October there would have been little to no impact on a banker or trader’s ability to get hired at a new firm,” he said.

Even conservative-leaning law firms would be wary of hiring someone like Kavanaugh in this climate, Singer said. On the one hand, a longtime Beltway insider like Kavanaugh would be an “extraordinary rainmaker,” and the right side of the aisle likely wouldn’t care much about the sexual misconduct question.

However, even those firms have become increasingly sensitive to these issues. “I’d have a hard time believing he’d get hired,” Singer concluded.

Smaller companies and firms, particularly those without any female employees, would probably be more amenable.

For example, it took less than a year for Brian Cagney, founder and CEO of the startup Social Finance, to land on his feet after leaving the company in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. Just nine months after he’d quit his former company, venture capital firms had given him millions of dollars to start a new business.

In the end, of course, Kavanaugh likely needn’t worry about any of this. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, and the worst outcome he now seems to face is the possibility of losing out on a cool job.

And if that happens, he shouldn’t have a problem going back to his current position ― a lifetime seat on the D.C. Circuit.

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Ontario’s new automated speed enforcement explained

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(NC) To wage the war against speeding, many municipalities across Ontario have turned to automated speed enforcement. Most recently introduced in Toronto, speed cameras are a high-tech solution to reduce speeding and are considered one of the most effective ways to create safer roads and save lives.  

Recognizing police officers cannot catch all speeders, these cameras fill the gap, providing monitoring in specific locations around the clock. When a car’s speed is even one kilometre over the posted amount, it will take a picture of the offending vehicle’s license plate, using the captured photo as indisputable evidence. A ticket is then served to the vehicle’s owner, regardless of who was driving. 

With a focus on high-risk areas, Ontario’s automated speed enforcement cameras are located in two specific municipal areas: school and community safety zones. School zones are designated streets close to a school, featuring reduced speed limits as dictated by local bylaws. Community safety zones are high-risk corridors and intersections, subject to increased fines and penalties.  

While the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines the use of automated speed enforcement, municipalities can decide when and where to use cameras to curb speeding. The act does dictate financial penalties for speed violations captured with cameras, which vary depending on the number of kilometres caught over the speed limit.  

Speed enforcement is not new, but part of a broader, integrated road safety strategy that includes infrastructure improvements, awareness campaigns and new uses of technology. City officials hope for a halo effect, inspiring better driving behaviour across entire communities, not only in areas with cameras. A controversial topic, some critics take exception to speed cameras, labelling them as sneaky cash grabs for municipalities. Governments think the opposite. 

Safety advocate and auto insurance provider Onlia is hopeful that the cameras will provide drivers with a reminder to slow down, especially in high-risk areas like school and community safety zones.  

For those who obey the speed limit, automated speed enforcement shouldn’t change anything about your driving style, says Alex Kelly, Safety Ambassador at OnliaDrivers have fair warning as they approach areas with speed cameras, as mandatory signs provide reasonable notice of upcoming automated speed enforcement. Regardless of warnings, the best speed is the posted speed. 

You can start to understand your speeding style by downloading the insurance provider’s new safe driving app that coaches and rewards for you for safe driving habits.

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Online banking: How to protect yourself from fraud

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(NC) Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, a growing number of consumers are regularly using mobile and online banking to paybill payments, transfer money and make purchases.

Although these tools can give you easy access to your personal finances on demand, there are also some risks involved. For instance, your banking information—such as your debit or credit card number, user name, or personal identification number (PIN)—could be stolen. If criminals have access to your online banking information, they can steal your money, which is why it’s so important to be  vigilant when you bank online.

Follow these tips to help protect your personal and banking information:

  • For your online bank accounts, use a strong password that can’t be easily guessed, and never share your user name or password with anyone.
  • Check your accounts regularly to make sure there are no transactions you didn’t make or authorize.
  • When making online purchases, never authorize a website to save your credit card information, password or other personal information. Giving websites this permission will save you some time the next time you access the site, but it poses a real threat if a hacker manages to access your information.

Most financial institutions have policies to protect you from transactions that you didn’t make.

However, you are responsible for protecting your online and mobile banking information. If you give your details to anyone—including your spouse or partner, a family member or a friend—your financial institution may hold you responsible for any unauthorized transactions in your account, and even strip you of protection from unauthorized transactions in the future.

If you suspect your information may have been compromised, change your passwords immediately, and check your account and credit card statements for anomalies and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has created resources to help you protect your online banking information.

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Payday loans: Not the best way to borrow money

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(NC) Payday loans are a very expensive way to borrow money. Even if you’re struggling financially, think twice—and crunch the numbers—before getting this type of loan.

Depending on the rules in your province, payday lenders can charge fees of $15 to $25 per $100 that you borrow.

As an example, let’s say you borrow $300 for home repairs. The payday lender charges you $51 in fees, or $17 for every $100 borrowed. Your loan balance is therefore $351, which amounts to an interest rate of 442 per cent.

There can be serious consequences if you don’t repay your loan by the due date. These may include the following:

  • The payday lender may charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • Your financial institution may also charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • The total amount that you owe, including the fees, continues to increase.

There are better options out there

Payday loans should be your last resort to borrow money. Consider cheaper ways of borrowing money, such as:

  • Cashing in vacation days or asking for a pay advance from your employer.
  • Getting a line of credit, a cash advance on a credit card or a personal loan from your financial institution.
  • Getting a loan from family or friends.

Before getting a payday loan and to avoid getting stuck in a debt trap, consider other, less expensive ways to borrow money.

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