Boulevard Brewing Company responds to harassment allegations

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jan 25, 2021.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,653) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    Posted in r/TheBrewery by u/notfrankthecat:
    Public response from Boulevard on Facebook:
    Jan. 26 update from Boulevard:
    Jan. 27: Boulevard’s top executive resigns as allegations mount against Kansas City beer maker
    The Kansas City Start reports that Chief Financial Officer Matthew Szymanski and Vice President of Marketing Natalie Gershon have also resigned.

    Jan 28: Boulevard founder: We made a lot of mistakes, but we're going to right any wrongs
     
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,482) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    A real case of she said--he said. I wonder if more employees will open up to reveal truths.

    That said, if the allegations against the "monkey" in the former employee's complaint are true, the clown needs to be removed. If not worse.

    Next on the soapbox...
     
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  3. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,805) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Does Missouri not have Whistleblower laws? Seems like she should have been able to take it outside the company.
     
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  4. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I won't be purchasing Boulevard anymore. That response is thick with "we gonna get sued" legalese bs. They conveniently ignored the retaliation allegations which really will sink them if more women come forward with similar complaints.
     
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  5. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,464) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Sounds more like a case of she, she, she, he, she, and she said-he said. I'm inclined to believe her. My experience with HR and sexism/harassment is appalling.
     
  6. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,464) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    "While we cannot delve deeply into personnel or employment matters, it is worth noting that these charges were thoroughly and impartially examined a year ago. The investigation determined that certain situations could and should have been handled with greater sensitivity, but clearly established that there was no harassment or discrimination."

    If not harassment then what exactly is it that needed to be handled better? I think I'm done with Boulevard pending real change.
     
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  7. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (4,353) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    I’ve been a Boulevard fan for a long time (their Pale Ale was my first exposure to “real” hops), but their response doesn’t read very well, IMHO.
     
  8. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Savant (940) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina
    Trader

    I will be interested to see how this plays out, in the meantime I will not be purchasing any more Boulevard. This kind of thing casts a shadow on an already male dominated industry.
     
  9. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,077) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Not hard to believe the allegations with that sort of corporate doublespeak in response. Any company that calls its employees “our people” is bad enough to begin with.
     
  10. wtg29

    wtg29 Initiate (55) Aug 28, 2020 North Carolina
    Trader

    Only worse when it's "a family"
     
  11. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,653) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    “Team” as well.
     
  12. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,653) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    Here's an update: https://www.boulevard.com/2021/01/26/reflecting/
     
  13. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,574) Jun 18, 2010 New York
    Society

    Actions speak louder than words. These sound like solid initial steps, but understand that a culture existed where this was acceptable. I'm hoping their intents are genuine, and the leadership at Boulevard is held accountable to making real change. Time will tell.

    The craft beer industry gets a bad rep because of issues exactly like this, and they are better than that. We as consumers have the ability to call out this behavior with our wallets.
     
  14. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (157) Feb 25, 2013 California

  15. Summerteeth

    Summerteeth Initiate (144) Sep 29, 2012 Massachusetts

    The specific nature of those allegations has what we call the “ring of truth”. I don’t buy the brewery’s response for a second.
     
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  16. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    What I heard from their statement: “Here at Boulevard, it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to sweep this under the rug. Sorry, sorry, sorry. *List cliched steps for improving workplace*. Sorry. Please continue to buy our product this isn’t a representation of who we want to be now that we’ve been held accountable and can’t have our boys club anymore.”
     
  17. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,464) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

  18. Jplachy

    Jplachy Devotee (453) Feb 12, 2012 Illinois
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  19. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,077) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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  20. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
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  21. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,078) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Wow, this story took an unusual and pleasant turn for the better
     
  22. KevSal

    KevSal Meyvn (1,158) Oct 17, 2010 California
    Trader

    I don’t understand the whole “are you pregnant” part. What’s does her being pregnant have to do with anything, and why would he care so much?
     
  23. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,805) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    That he's sexist, and possibly misogynist. He is/was in a position of power, and enjoyed wielding that power over folks he thought had no recourse against him.
     
  24. KevSal

    KevSal Meyvn (1,158) Oct 17, 2010 California
    Trader

    Man I still not understanding. Is it becasue if they are pregnant they will miss work? Or is he just a creeper that needs to know everything??
    Its just the weirdest power trip to me. He’s gotto go if he has an issue with anyone at work being pregnant.
     
  25. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,805) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    IMHO, with no information that's not available either in this thread, or other publicly available websites, I think it's a combo of your options: maybe 30ish % old school dude who didn't like working with women because they need time off during pregnancies, and 70ish % he's a creeper, with issues and a position of power.

    Again, that's just my wild-assed guess. I still do wonder why the women involved didn't have an outside source to go to, or feel safe going to. The State Labor board (here it's called Labor & Industries) should have been an option. There's a chunk of the plot missing.

    I hope the victims get some satisfaction, the company learns, and we start to hear fewer of these types of stories.
     
  26. KevSal

    KevSal Meyvn (1,158) Oct 17, 2010 California
    Trader

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, I agree completely. I really hope these circumstances start to go away
     
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  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,486) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

  28. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,077) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Not for nothing, but the top Boulevard executive who just resigned (Jeff Krum) had been at Boulevard since 1994, but was also the head of Duvel’s US operations, including distribution of the Duvel products in the US and overseeing Ommegang.
     
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  29. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    The only reason it would be any of his business is if he was the father.
     
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  30. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,062) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    So when does the Boulevard/Melvin collab drop? :confused:
     
  31. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (197) Aug 30, 2007 Oregon

    Too soon?
     
  32. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Never too soon for public shaming. Would you say it is too soon for someone to serve time for a crime? “Triple homicide and he is off to the slammer...sentenced too soon.”
     
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  33. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (771) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I recently realized I haven't had anything from Boulevard in a number of years after drinking quite a bit of their stuff early on in my craft career. I picked up a Tank 7 before this all went down for old times sake, will enjoy this weekend before I ban them for a few years. Shame.
     
  34. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (197) Aug 30, 2007 Oregon

    It was a joke. But don't criminals get a trial first? While it appears that something really despicable was going on in this situation, maybe we should let the facts play out before casting judgement or calling for heads to be lopped off.
     
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  35. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,348) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    No one is lopping off heads- the heads resigned...which is generally a good admission that they failed to do something on their watch. As this coincides with claims of harassment I think it's safe to say they didn't resign due to accounting malfeasance.
     
  36. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Meyvn (1,024) Jul 28, 2014 Maine
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  37. officerbill

    officerbill Savant (968) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    Without knowing the context I'd say job assignment. They may have asked for less strenuous jobs or he may have been looking for an excuse to get them off the production floor.
     
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  38. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,062) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Typically an apology is an admission of guilt. No trial needed when the offending party admits they have offended. Reading Boulevard and Melvin press releases they both read the same. This isn't lobbing off a head, it is speaking to an industry wide problem that should be addressed. Shit. Let's call it a worldwide cultural problem that should be addressed. Just because men have dicks doesn't mean they get to act like a dick.
     
  39. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (502) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Going back to the original complaint, which has been confirmed as accurate,

    Who the fuck asks a woman if she is pregnant? What kind of obnoxious soul makes such a statement? The fact that everything just went downhill from there is not surprising at all.

    But seriously, I am too often embarrassed to be a dude. I'd like to verbally assault these schmucks myself.

    It's rhetorical but holy smokes. What a bunch of dick heads.
     
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  40. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (230) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    I would guess that he was worried about her maternity leave. Pregnant women often risk losing their jobs, losing their healthcare, or missing out on promotions/scheduled raises due to maternity leave. He probably wanted to know if they were pregnant so he could replace them.
     
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