Arizona fans of celebrity chef Mario Batali may have heard that he has stepped away from his TV show and business in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct. Investigation found four women who said the chef had behaved inappropriately to them. The entire period covered was about 20 years. While not specifically mentioning the investigation, Batali acknowledged behavior that had been inappropriate although he said that he did not know the specific identities of those who had accused him.
Batali is a host on “The Chew” on ABC and also runs a restaurant business with restaurateur Joe Bastianich. A spokesperson at ABC said there have not been any complaints against him, but the network intends to investigate. A spokesperson from his company said there had been a complaint against him in October, and at that time, he was required to attend sexual harassment training and was reprimanded and counseled. Batali also volunteered to stop visiting the restaurant where the employee who reported the harassment worked. The company said it had not received any previous complaints about Batali.
The women reported groping by Batali. In a statement, Batali’s company said they took the allegations seriously and sought to have a workplace free of discrimination. The statement also said the company had policies against sexual harassment.
Unfortunately, some companies that have sexual harassment policies in place still may not act on those policies despite receiving complaints from employees. Some companies may try to protect sexual harassers. An employee who faces workplace sexual harassment may want to make a complaint in the workplace first, but the employee may also want to talk to an attorney about the process and possible outcomes. If the company does not conduct an investigation, dismisses the allegations or retaliates against the employee, the employee might want to take further legal action.