An executive at Monster Energy has resigned amid allegations of an abusive and discriminatory ‘guys club” culture at the company. At the center of the allegations are separate lawsuits filed by five female employees detailing a series of allegations which, if proven, would indicate violations of federal civil rights laws. Workers in Tennessee are often subjected to similar behaviors.
One woman says an executive vice president of the energy drink company regularly gossiped about females and speculated openly about their sex lives. Although Monster denies the allegations have merit, the vice-president in question has resigned after publication of text messages in which he called an employee a ‘cheap made up whore” along with other inflammatory language. Other allegations against the company include inappropriate hugging and questions regarding an employee’s breasts along with the offering of stock options to male employees but not similarly ranked females. The women also accuse Monster executives of retaliating against females after they complained to their human resources department as mandated by company policy.
The allegations against Monster include both quid pro quo and hostile work environment accusations. Quid pro quo harassment is the direct exchange of work benefits for sexual favors. At least one employee alleges a constructive discharge, which means she quit the company after her complaints did not result in changes to the abusive work environment.
Federal and state l laws are designed to protect employees from gender-based harassment, but there are carefully outlined steps an employee must go through first. If the procedures outlined in the company manual are followed but no improvement results, then an employment law attorney might suggest filing a claim with the EEOC and applicable state agency.