Digital Realty’s senior leaders seem to just keep their heads down and do as they are told. Has a single Board member or member of the senior leadership team stopped to consider how Bill Stein’s Supreme Court dream directly clashes with Digital’s Code of Business Conducts and Ethics? It’s clear no one at Digital actually looks at the hallowed Code, but this is going a bit too far.
Breaking it down
Digital Realty went to the Supreme Court to obtain the right to retaliate against employees who report shareholder fraud internally.
Digital’s Code of Business Ethics and Conduct states:
Confidentiality and Policy Against Retaliation
All questions and reports of known or suspected violations of the law or this Code will be treated with sensitivity and discretion. Your supervisor, the General Counsel and the Company will protect your confidentiality to the extent possible, consistent with law and the Company’s need to investigate your concern. The Company strictly prohibits retaliation against an employee who, in good faith, seeks help or reports known or suspected violations. Any reprisal or retaliation against an employee because the employee, in good faith, sought help or filed a report will be subject to disciplinary action, including potential termination of employment.
The above will have to be removed along with this section:
Any employee who fails to report known or suspected violations by another employee may also be subject to appropriate discipline. Employees who violate the law or this Code may expose themselves to substantial civil damages, criminal fines and prison terms.
So far Digital offers no explanation as to why they pursued this to the end. They will have to answer questions about their reasons for going against their own code during the trial in the upcoming trial later this year.