Several Humane Society directors allegedly contributed to a deep culture of workplace sexual harassment, according to a report released Tuesday.
Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle and former Vice President of Policy Paul Shapiro stand accused of creating an environment of sexual abuse at work, according to a Politico report. The men allegedly created a toxic environment by sending lewd jokes and encouraging women to have sex with donors.
Pacelle is accused of asking a woman to strip and perform oral sex on him during a work trip in 2006, according to USA Today. Another woman accused Pacelle of visiting her in her office in 2012 and trying to get her to salsa dance with him, and an intern claimed in 2005 that Pacelle tried to kiss her without her consent.
However, Pacelle has patently denied all claims.
“This is a coordinated attempt to attack me and the organization,” Pacelle told The Washington Post, adding, “And I absolutely deny any suggestion that I did anything untoward.”
Shapiro is accused of sexual harassing a 26-year-old employee during a 2016 work trip. Shapiro allegedly stripped to his underwear in plain sight while changing clothes, tried to get the woman to share a small couch with him and leaned out of the bathroom holding only a bunched-up pair of boxer briefs to cover his genitalia. Shapiro later encouraged another female employee to “take one for the team” by having sex with a donor.
Shapiro has also denied the claims against him.
“I’ve taken responsibility for inappropriate behavior years earlier in my career, and apologized to those who may have been offended. I cannot, however, respond to allegations that I’m unaware of, were never presented to my former employer or me during the inquiry 16 months ago, are alleged to have occurred many years ago and, frankly, just never happened,” Shapiro told Politico.
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