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CEO and HR Director accused of sexual advances – The need for independent investigators

Sexual Harassment

The CEO and the HR Director of  5Linx Enterprises have been accused of making shocking sexual advances towards an employee, Arkell Cox, Cox claims that Denise Mooney, the HR Director, grabbed her breasts in front of ten co-workers and said: “Oh my God, I can’t help myself.”

In addition to this, Cox has accused Craig Jerabeck, who was company CEO at the time, of propositioning the pair for a threesome on a “private island”, the NY Post reports, however, Jerabeck, who left 5Linx last autumn, denies the allegations, telling the NY Post that they are “complete nonsense.” He adds: “This stuff is ludicrous. She was never touched. She was never fondled. She was never propositioned…This is an attempt by Ms Cox and her attorney to extort money.”

Beverley Sunderland, Managing Director of Crossland Employment Solicitors, addresses such claims: “The starting point for any employer in the UK is that they should not only have an equal opportunities policy but they should also train their staff on what is, and is not, acceptable in the workplace. If they do this, then if an employee brings a claim saying that another employee has sexually harassed them, the employer can say it has taken all reasonable steps to prevent this kind of behaviour and avoid liability for the actions of its employee. The harassed employee can still claim against the individual employee but they may not have any money.”

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Beverley Sunderland continues, “In any case of alleged sexual harassment, even if the employee has not raised a grievance, the employer should investigate it at an appropriate level (even asking a third party to investigate if those allegedly involved are very senior). The results of this investigation will determine if the employer has a problem they were not aware of and needs to take action against employees, irrespective of their seniority, and independently of any tribunal claim…it is important to get to the truth as quickly as possible.”

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