John Besh steps down from restaurant group amid sexual harassmen - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

John Besh steps down from restaurant group amid sexual harassment allegations

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Chef and Restauranteur John Besh Chef and Restauranteur John Besh

After reports of sexual harassment allegation and sexual misconduct by the Besh Restaurant Group, chef John Besh has stepped down from the company he created, our media partners at the Advocate reports

In a letter obtained by the paper, the company states that Besh  "has decided to step down from all aspects of operations and to provide his full focus on this family."

Company executive Shannon White has taken over as chief executive officer. 

The change in command comes after a story posted Saturday by Nola.com documents allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct at Besh Restaurant Group. 25 current and former employees of the Besh Group say they were victims of sexual harassment while working at BRG or in its restaurants. 

The Nola.com article states that at least two women said they had been victimized and filed complaints with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Others said they quit over alleged hostile work environments in several of Besh's restaurants. One woman also reported a sexual relationship with Besh which was acknowledged by the chef, but he has denied the relationship was coercive. 

The allegations reported by Nola.com are not only against Besh. Workers accused male supervisors and managers with harassing behavior and the Besh Group, as a whole, for allowing these incidents to go unchecked. 

Sunday evening, Harrah's Casino severed ties with the Besh Restaurant Group. Harrah's Casino housed Besh Steak, one of chef Besh's second oldest restaurants.  

Nola.com says that no one that was interviewed reported any allegations of sexual harassment at Besh Steak in Harrah's Casino. The staff of Besh Steak worked for Harrah' s Casino and not the Besh restaurant group a general manager states. 

Now, the Besh Restaurant Group is working to investigate sexual harassment issues. In the letter obtained by the Advocate, BRG says that it has hired an outside agency to  "independently investigate whether any unreported claims exist."  An employee advisory committee is also being created along with a revision of the company's sexual harassment code of conduct. 

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