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Sterling Employment Law

Herman Cain accused of sexual harassment in former workplace

Many Detroit readers are probably already familiar with Herman Cain, the former Godfather's Pizza executive who, this fall, came out of nowhere to emerge as a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

News broke recently that Cain was accused of sexual harassment when he was in charge of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group for which he worked during most of the mid-1990s. On Monday, Cain admitted that he had been accused of sexual harassment during his tenure with the National Restaurant Association, but said the accusations were false.

It was also reported that the National Restaurant Association reached a settlement with Cain's two accusers, under the terms of which the two women left the company and agreed not to discuss the allegations in public.

Sexual harassment is not acceptable behavior. It violates employment law, as well as many workplaces' codes of conduct. Sadly, that does not stop it from happening altogether. The sexual harassment allegations against Cain have not yet been elaborated upon, but if they are true (and they may not be), they would show once again that sexual harassment is still too prevalent in our society.

The implications of these accusations are quite severe. If it is learned that Cain did sexually harass these women and did, in fact, create a hostile work environment for them, that may be the end of his campaign. If these claims prove to be unsubstantiated, then Cain's bid for the nomination will likely be just fine.

Source: USA Today, "Cain: I was 'falsely accused' of sexual harassment," Catalina Camia, Oct. 31, 2011

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