An internal investigation found that several executives at CVS botched the handling of sexual harassment allegations. These findings prompted CVS CEO Karen Lynch to fire several executives and overhaul the company’s sexual harassment policy.
Ms. Lynch took over as CEO in February 2021 for CVS making it the largest company by revenue to be run by a female CEO. Lynch made the changes to personnel after learning of complaints about a New Jersey regional manager who was allegedly harassing and inappropriately touching at least two female employees at work.
Lynch personally oversaw the investigation into allegations against the manager. In January, when investigations concluded, Lynch ordered his dismissal as well as several of the manager’s superiors for failing to treat sexual harassment allegations with the seriousness they deserve.
The removal included an executive who supervised the regional manager and a human-resources executive, while a third executive left the company during the investigation.
Lynch then informed about 450 senior leaders at the company of the decision and revealed plans to create an office for CVS that would offer its employees a confidential channel through which they can bring complaints of harassment.
In a later memo, Ms. Lynch made clear that the company does not tolerate harassment or hostile behaviors regardless of position and will not tolerate inaction from those responsible of escalating concerns. She points out efforts to improve internal reporting, investigation, and the creation of a confidential channel for concerns. And allures to a review of procedures in the company’s human resources, legal department, and arbitration.
Do you think CVS is actually taking sexual harassment seriously now?