The recent “Varsity Blues” scandal that has been eating up headlines lately is an excellent reminder that employers need to take the time to reexamine the way their operations are run to determine any potential issues that might arise.
The “Varsity Blues” scandal involved several high profile universities caught up in an orchestrated scheme involving applicants using a self-described “side door” to skirt admissions restrictions. The United States Attorney’s Office has said current and former coaches from the following universities were bribed by wealthy parents to admit their children as athletic recruits:
- The University of San Diego
- Wake Forest
- University of Texas
In light of the scandal, you should do the following things if you are an employer who wants to crack down on fraud and other illegal activity that might be occurring in your workplace:
- Investigate any allegations of fraud or kickback schemes
- Work closely with law enforcement
- Respond to all substantiated allegations of fraudulent conduct
- Manage public relations if the scandal makes headlines
Under California law, employees have a duty to be loyal to their employers if they gain any benefit due to their employment with their employer. According to Labor Code section 2860, "Everything which an employee acquires by virtue of his employment, except the compensation which is due to him from his employer, belongs to the employer, whether acquired lawfully or unlawfully, or during or after the expiration of the term of his employment."
With this law in mind, the accused coaches at the universities listed above should have alerted their respective employers about the bribes they were offered and turn over any money they received. If you suspect an employee has engaged in financial misconduct, you should immediately start an investigation.
Do you have more questions regarding employment laws in California? Call our law office at (888) 796-4010 to set up a case consultation with our experienced lawyers.