Just when the public opinion polls were indicating Hermann Cain might just be the next leading candidate and frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, he runs into a media firestorm regarding investigations into complaints filed by two former female employees concerning allegations of sexual misconduct over twelve years ago. The pizza mogul’s explanation recently at the National Press Club is not entirely plausible because his answer to this question is inconsistent at best and vacillating in the least. Of course, TALK Radio has circled the wagons around their “Man of the Hour” by the support of on-air commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The thing is, though, why would the General Counsel of the National Restaurant Association, while Hermann Cain was CEO of Godfathers Pizza have the one Plaintiff, who was also a Lobbyist, through advice from her attorney sign a ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ to make all of this go away, in exchange for some unspecified financial settlement or agreement if the allegation was totally without merit?
Also, Hermann Cain maintains that he did not sexually harass the two women, or at least, that’s the way he sees it; so accordingly, ‘Sexual Harassment’ is like the description of beauty: “It’s all in the eye of the beholder.” The thing is, though, since the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill spectacle, the laws regarding inappropriate workplace behavior have been very clear, enforceable and not subject to ambiguity; as he would like to make people think. The legal definition of sexual harassment is [any] “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment.” Sexual harassment may be physical, such as kissing, hugging, pinching, patting, grabbing, blocking the victim's path, leering or staring, or standing very close to the victim. It may also be verbal, which may be oral or written.
A ‘hostile’ workplace is when a female employee is sexually “objectified” in the workplace, especially from a superior, by an unwelcome or unsolicited statement about her appearance, clothing, perfume, shape (even if it is a compliment), etc, that suggests some kind of favoritism, special treatment, bias or attention that is distinctly made known or expressed separate and apart from others, and which tends to undermine the work environment. It could also be extended to a wanton or lustful look or non-verbal gesture that is degrading, disrespectful, devalues a person or their sexual orientation and gender. So, it may very well be that the only way Hermann Cain can get out the “stain” of this political embarrassment is if he buys a very large box of TIDE [the stain remover].
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November 1, 2011
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