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Public Relations Firm Closes Following Sexual Harassment Claims


Many people were likely shocked when public relations firm FitzGibbon Media suddenly shut down last month. They may have been even more shocked to learn the reason for the abrupt closure. The closure of the public relations firm, that worked with many progressive movements, came after multiple reports surfaced that the president of the firm was sexually harassing female employees. In two cases he was also accused of sexual assault.

After the allegations of sexual harassment became public, the president took a leave of absence. Despite that leave, only a few days later the business closed. According to a senior digital director at FitzGibbon, the closure was “because we would no longer follow the leadership of a serial sexual harasser."

Of course not all business close following allegations of employees sexually harassing other employees. As we discussed in a previous post, it is important to have a sexual prohibition policy in place. Such a policy should provide guidelines as to how an employee should go about making such a report and when such claims must be filed. Following a report, it is then incumbent upon the employer to investigate and if necessary, take steps to address the matter.

In most cases, the steps an employer will take do not involve closing the business.

While this may be an extreme case, sexual harassment claims are filed by Maryland employees on a regular basis. An employment lawyer can advise businesses in how to create these policies and the steps to take when a claim is received.