John Besh, who is one of New Orleans “most recognizable and celebrated chefs,” has stepped down from his role after sexual harassment allegations surfaced [Source: CNN]. Besh and other male employees are being accused by former and current employees of engaging in acts that they are considering to be forms of sexual misconduct. As a result of the accusations, Besh turned his company over to another individual who will now be running Besh Restaurant Group (BRG).
Besh’s successful restaurant group employs more than 1,000 people in New Orleans, San Antonio, and Baltimore in several top-rated restaurants including August, Lüke, Domenica and Shaya. While things aren’t looking too bright for Besh right now, he has been a huge success in the city after feeding emergency responders and flood victims who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. He also has quite the list of accomplishments aside from his restaurants including writing a cookbook, collaborating with brands on specialty products, and appeared regularly on talk shows.
With such a large empire, people are wondering how these allegations are going to affect all that he has accomplished. According to the news source, there have been nine people to speak out regarding the issue. Apparently, some of the male employees working for BRG engaged in inappropriate touching and lude comments and even tried to leverage their power for sex. Two of the women involved in the case apparently filed complaints with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, the women who did come forward and complained were “berated, ostracized, or ignored.”
This is an issue many individuals face after reporting accounts of sexual misconduct which is why others are fearful of reporting their issue.
Another woman came forward claiming that Besh “attempted to coerce her during a months-long sexual relationship.” While Besh has admitted that he engaged in a consensual relationship two years ago with a member of his team, he takes responsibility for his irresponsible actions and is now working to rebuild his family.
Sexual Harassment and Restaurant Industry
The restaurant industry is known to be a laxer working environment and many accounts of sexual harassment arise because of this. Unfortunately, many of these cases are swept under the rug never to be addressed. When it is only one person being victimized, they often feel alone and afraid which keeps them from speaking out. But when it is multiple individuals and all are willing to share their story, it’s easier for them to bring their claims forward.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment and aren’t sure how to handle the issue, USAttorneys.com wants to help you get in touch with a local New Orleans, LA sexual harassment attorney. Being worried and even scared to report the incident are two common feelings shared by many victims just like you but the sexual misconduct lawyers can help put your mind at ease on how to handle the matter.