Watching Michael Cohen’s Testimony? It Could Cost Employers $4 Billion

Managers will find it difficult to reign in their workers' interest in the proceedings.

Michael Cohen testimony
Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Every minute that Michael Cohen spends testifying against his former client, Donald Trump, is costing employers.

Either by streaming it on their work computers or turning on office TVs, employees who spent time tuning in to the many hours Cohen has spent testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, instead of focusing on business, could cost their companies some $3.83 billion, according to the outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The nation is rapt in the Cohen testimony,” John Challenger, the firm’s CEO, told USA Today. “We’ve already heard many fiery exchanges this morning. Employers will find it difficult to reign in interested workers during this proceeding, and it will impact their teams’ productivity.”

Based on the 94% of employees who talk about politics on the job — according to a 2016 Challenger poll — and the tens of millions of Americans who spend time online for work, bosses could shed $1.9 billion per hour in lost productivity, Challenger says.

During Cohen’s questioning, the former lawyer and self-proclaimed “fixer,” accused Trump of being a “racist,” a “con man,” and a “cheat.” He said Trump knew about a dump of emails allegedly stolen from the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee officials before they were published by WikiLeaks and that Trump instructed him to warn Trump’s “high school, colleges and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.”

Cohen has been sentenced to three years in  prison for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

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