A new memo released by VICE reveals the company fired three employees for sexual harassment. The company was founded 23 years ago and admits the workplace culture there has fallen short.
The memo condemns the behavior of the employees in question but does not identify them. “The conduct of these employees ranged from verbal and sexual harassment to other behavior that is inconsistent with our policies, our values, and the way in which we believe colleagues should work together,” the memo says.
Susan Tohyama joined Vice four weeks ago as the company’s first global human resources officer and has already been enveloped in a mass of complaints. Tohyama tells staffers her team is investigating “a handful of workplace complaints.” It was these complaints that led to the disciplinary action this Thursday.
Tohyama went on to say in the memo, “I know a few people have asked for specifics concerning both the complaints and the discipline we have taken. I believe the confidentiality of the process is necessary to protect all those who wish to bring allegations to me and to create a fair, safe and inclusive environment for all employees.”
The company declined to comment on the matter when questioned by media but the termination of three employees falls in the wake of a story by The Daily Beast that called out VICE’s “sexual-harassment culture.”
The company’s new human resource officer says she means business. “I am very serious about ensuring that this company’s policies and procedures are consistent with the best practices in the HR industry,” Tohyama wrote. The memo describes a new “zero tolerance” policy for the company and directs employees on how to submit complaints.
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