There are a lot of issues in this country, specifically to minorities and females. The brewing industry is no different. Founders Brewing has been accused of racism. 4 Hands Brewing had an employee accused of sexual assault (the brewery is clear of charges on this one though). Rogue Brewing has been accused of being a shitty place to work.
Now add Boulevard Brewing to the mix. A former female employee has brought up allegations of sexism that have caused her to leave the industry. According to Reddit User u/notfrankthecat, her pregnancy was one of the issues:
My boss stood me and another female employee up in the lab, in front of another coworker, and demanded to know if we were pregnant. When we refused to answer, he told the other woman “the only way you could be pregnant is by your cat”, then continued to ask me. I reported this to HR, but it started a cycle of reporting his behavior to HR and then being punished (by him) for going to HR.
She also shared some other stories that she had witnessed:
A different man was allowed to sexually harass multiple women for years. He was chastised, but when he harassed these women again (following them to their cars, trying to give them notes or gifts, sending them multiple emails) nothing was done. One of his victims quit because after continued harassment, HR told her they had done “everything they could”. He was eventually allowed to “retire early”. The company threw him a party. He was not stopped from harassing his victims at future events held at the brewery.
They also had some questionable hiring practices:
I know female brewer candidates with years of experience that were turned down specifically because they were female. The hiring manager told me he wouldn’t hire women because they are lazy. I know of one woman in particular and I have spoken to her privately. Instead, a man with no brewing experience was hired as an intern and quickly promoted to brewer. He is a nice person, but it does not justify that a man with no experience was preferable to a woman with experience.
u/notfrankthecat answered questions in the comments and other current and former employees have corroborated on the story.
Boulevard is part of Duvel Moortgat Brewery, after being acquired in 2013. From all accounts, these issues started after the sale of the brewery to Duvel. They did address the issue in a press release on January 25th. They pretty much said they knew of the incidents and investigated them over a year ago, but found no harassment or discrimination:
While we cannot delve deeply into personnel or employment matters, it is worth nothing that these charges were thoroughly and impartially examined a year ago. The investigation determined that certain situations could and should have been handled with greater sensitivity, but clearly established that there was no harassment or discrimination. We are not perfect, but we have not, and we will not, tolerate harassment, mistreatment, or prejudice in any form.
To me, the statement is BS. If this weren’t true, or they did attempt to correct the issue, there would be some employees defending the company. If you read through the 300+ comments or check other beer websites, there isn’t a peep of support for Boulevard and Duvel.
The glass ceiling for women is a real thing, having seen it with my wife. As a father of 2 girls, I’m sickened to see this type of behavior and feel the need to share these injustices before my girls can be impacted later in their lives.
Please share the story and join the boycott of Boulevard.