Employees at the high-end British retailer speak out against workplace misconduct.
According to a new report by Buzzfeed News, staff of popular, high-end British clothing company Ted Baker are demanding that their concerns about inappropriate workplace behavior be acknowledged and addressed. Launching a petition that has been signed over 200 times on the platform Organise, the Ted Baker employees allege that the company's CEO, Ray Kelvin, "tries to massage people around the office, insists on long hugs with staff members, touches them inappropriately and openly asks his staff for sex."
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
The petition, now open to the public to sign, reveals a number of the staff's troubling grievances and allegations about Kelvin."The owner regularly makes sexual innuendos at staff, he stroke people’s necks, he took off his shirt on one occasion and talked about his sex life," the document reads. "So many people have left the business due to harassment, whether that be verbal, physical or sexual." The petition claims that attempts to resolve the issue with the company's human resources department have unsuccessful stating, "Harassment at Ted Baker is well documented but wilfully ignored by those in charge," the petition says. It goes on to claim that the company's human resources department dismissed complaints about Kelvin by saying "that's just what he's like."
"Pursuing the issue through the 'proper' channels i.e. Human Resources, is hopelessly ineffective," the petition adds. "They don't act on the reports. It's time to break the silence."
In a newly released statement, the company responded by acknowledging that Kelvin greets people "with a hug, be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague" adding that "hugs have become part of Ted Baker’s culture but are absolutely not insisted upon." The company has promised that it would "ensure a thorough independent investigation"