Employees say Enough is Enough:
Staff members of the high-end clothing line take a stand against alleged harassment and misconduct by the CEO Ray Kelvin.
Ted Baker’s employees started up a petition against the company’s culture of “forced hugs.” What seems like a friendly idea actually allows sexual harassment and misconduct.
Allegations on Allegations:
Over 200 staff members signed the petition which is now officially open to the public. The petition also claims that the CEO, Ray Kelvin, often “tries to message people around the office, insists on long hugs with staff members, touches them inappropriately and openly asks his staff for sex.”
The petition made some seriously strong allegations, and with 200 signatures on the paper, it seems like they’ll be hard to disprove. According to the document, Kelvin’s inappropriate behavior ranges from invitations to star in porn movies with him and kisses on the back of his employee’s ears.
“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 petition states. “So many people have left the business due to harassment, whether that be verbal, physical or sexual,” the document reads.
Apparently, the company’s human resources department has refused to acknowledge these claims and complaints. Because of this, their petition not only calls for recognition of Kelvin’s wrongdoings, but it also demands there be a way to report harassment to an “independent, external body.”
The Company Responds to Claims:
Ted Baker has not given any immediate response to these claims, however, they recently sent out a letter to The Guardian and BBC in attempts to clear up the situation. The email stated that Kelvin does, in fact, greet people “with a hug, be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague.” The email further explains that “hugs are part of Ted Baker’s culture but are absolutely not insisted upon.”
However, with claims as serious as these, the company will perform a thorough investigation into the accusations. The email from Ted Baker says that all the allegations in the petition are “entirely at odds with the values of our business and those of our CEO.”
Ted Baker’s CEO:
Kelvin is 62-years-old and has a net worth of $650 million. He’s known for having a very extroverted personality. He’s named the company after one of his alter ego’s back in 1988. Kelvin has always shied away from any publicity. That’s why this petition is really hard for him to deal with.
Hopefully, all will be straightened out soon. Ted Baker is a luxury brand that’s made its name for its unique attention to details and customer service. It’s important for a company with this much influence to be a good example to other companies.