Joel P. Bennett, who represents one of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment during his time at the National Restaurant Association, spoke to the press today. From the Los Angeles Times:
Bennett declined to provide specifics of the complaint, but he did reveal new details to the story which has roiled the Cain campaign this week — most notably, that there were multiple incidents “over a period of time at least a month or two” that prompted a monetary settlement, and that the woman was married at the time (and still is today).The settlement included a non-disclosure agreement. …
“[Cain] has generally said these complaints were baseless, that [he] did not engage in sexual harassment,” Bennett said. “My client felt she wanted to respond to those statements in a prudent way. Her position is that it’s most prudent to do it this way rather than exposing herself personally.”
The National Restaurant Association released this statement:
We have seen the statement Joel Bennett released earlier today on behalf of his client, a former employee of the Association. The Association consented to the release of that statement, at the request of Mr. Bennett’s client.
Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett’s client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations. Notwithstanding the Association’s ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett’s client to comment. As indicated in Mr. Bennett’s statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.
The Association has robust policies designed to ensure that employees with concerns may bring them forward for prompt investigation and resolution, without risk of retaliation. The Association is fully committed to equal employment opportunity and to an environment that is free from any discrimination or harassment.