Wednesday, March 27, 2024

If your company just agreed to pay $2 million to settle a horrific sexual harassment lawsuit, maybe don’t trash the plaintiff on social media

If your company just agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging horrific workplace sexual abuse and other sexual harassment, maybe it's not the best idea to trash the plaintiff on social media.

Last week, I nominated National Raisin for the Worst Employe of 2024, based on the allegations of a lawsuit it just settled with the EEOC. Those allegations consisted of widespread sexual abuse perpetrated by a male supervisor. To make matters worse, the lawsuit also alleged that HR did nothing when employees complained.

The two gems reproduced to the right were among the comments to my LinkedIn post on this case. The commenter appears to be National Raisin's HR manager. (I'm intentionally not sharing her name or profile; the point here isn't to get anyone canceled or fired.)

I read the EEOC v. National Raisin settlement agreement. Her comments do not appear to violate it. Nevertheless, comments such as hers are a terrible idea. 

Companies do not pay millions of dollars to settle nuisance lawsuits. It is a bad look to suggest that this lawsuit was a money grab and that the EEOC is complicit. Indeed, if just a small percentage of the facts alleged actually happened, it's among the worst sexual harassment you can imagine. What message do these comments send to National Raisin's employees?

Moreover, if these comments capture the temperature of the company's employment practices, it explains a lot about what led to the EEOC's lawsuit in the first place.

If you're not following me on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for? You're missing out on all of the great discussions and engagement.