Politico has reported
that the National Restaurant Association paid out a five-figure settlement to
two women who accused Herman Cain of making sexually suggestive comments.
Here are the details on the story, from the Politico
During Herman Cain's tenure as the head of
the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees
complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate
behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple
sources confirm to POLITICO.
The sources -- including the recollections of
close associates and other documentation -- describe episodes that left the
women upset and offended. These incidents include conversations allegedly
filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature,
taking place at hotels during conferences, at other officially sanctioned
restaurant association events and at the association's offices. There were also
descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual but that made
women who experienced or witnessed them uncomfortable and that they regarded as
improper in a professional relationship.
The women ... signed agreements with the
restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The
agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their
Yesterday, Cain told Fox News yesterday that he has never sexually harassed
anyone. He further added that the National Restaurant Association investigated
the accusations and deemed them baseless. Finally, Cain mentioned that he had
no idea if the Association had reached a settlement with his accusers.
How should employers address internal
complaints of unlawful harassment?
While these sexual harassment allegations will, no doubt,
take their toll on the Cain campaign, we'll never know exactly what happened
between Cain and these women. Should anyone within your organization complain
about inappropriate workplace conduct -- whether perpetrated by a co-worker or
a C-Suite executive
-- the steps you take to respond can mean the difference between a one-off and
a bad lawsuit.
Your first line of defense is generally your supervisors
and managers. They often receive the complaints and, consequently, you must
train them how to respond appropriately. Here are 10 supervisor do's and
How complaints are initially received often sets the tone
for the remainder of the investigation. When victims conclude that the company
is taking complaints seriously, regardless of the outcome, they are less likely
This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer
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