Monster Energy Sued By 5 Former Employees Over Harassment Claims

Monster Energy was sued last year in four separate actions by five former female employees who are saying that some of the brand's top executives sexually harassed them. All five women involved in the lawsuits spoke to Huffington Post for a story revealing the suits, published on the site on January 23.

The company's vice president, John Kenneally, is among those accused of inappropriate behavior. In text messages obtained by Huffington Post, the 60-year-old allegedly described one woman as a "whore," made a racially charged comment, and used the term "bitch" to describe the message's recipient and another female employee.

Shortly after the Huffington Post reached out to Monster Energy about the allegations, Kenneally was reportedly put on paid leave for reasons "unrelated to this story," without further explanation.

Other executives named in the suits include head of music marketing Brent Hamilton, who is awaiting trial for allegedly choking and biting his girlfriend during a business trip in 2016, and manager Phillip Deitrich, who is accused of sex discrimination and harassment.

The women claim that when they reached out to the company's human resources department for help, they were told all information would be kept confidential. It is alleged that supervisors were then told everything. This opened the door for further bullying, harassment, and retaliation.

But Monster says the women are just "disgruntled employees."

"The only connection is that these individuals suing Monster for money have endeavored to band together to litigate their cases in the media," the multi-billion-dollar brand told The Huffington Post. "The cases are diverse, unrelated and do not remotely suggest a systemic environment of harassment or discrimination."

On the contrary, the company says claims are taken "extremely seriously" and the company takes action if it finds conduct standards have been violated.

"Monster Energy has zero-tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind. Monster takes all reported complaints very seriously. Any suggestions to the contrary are false," a company spokesperson told The Daily Meal in an email. "If the company's discrimination and harassment policies are violated, appropriate action is taken, up to and including termination of employment. Monster also requires that employees at all levels undergo anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training."

"Statements and apparent conclusions in the Huffington Post article are inconsistent with Monster's internal investigations, which are continuing. To date, Monster's investigations into the lawsuits support the position that none of the lawsuits or the claims have any merit," the spokesperson said. "Monster is a global company with approximately 3,000 employees worldwide. Monster firmly believes in a diverse and inclusive workplace. Monster has a long history and strong track record of treating its employees with dignity and respect. The cases at issue are diverse, unrelated and, as the investigations to date have shown, do not remotely suggest a systemic environment of harassment or discrimination."

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