Gerber Responds to Racist Incident in Seattle Market

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June 15, 2020—The Boyd Group further outlined its plans to take action after terminating multiple employees in its Seattle market last week after screenshotted images surfaced with team members on a virtual meeting that included a racist reference.

“It is with extreme sadness and disappointment that we are dealing with this incident. There is no question as a company, that we have zero tolerance for harassment, violence, and discrimination of any kind, including racism. Zero tolerance means that it is completely unacceptable. I can confirm to you that we have taken this seriously and our actions reflect this,” said Tim O’Day, president and CEO of the Boyd Group. 

The Boyd Group had diversity and inclusion, along with harassment and anti-racism, policies in place.

he Boyd Group further outlined the steps the company took to deal with the incident in a statement: 

“Our Senior leadership team immediately launched a thorough investigation of the incident Wednesday morning (June 10th) and concluded that there was a violation of the company’s zero-tolerance policy on race discrimination. In less than 18 hours, the individuals directly responsible for this incident were no longer employed at Gerber,” the statement read.

Gerber declined to provide information or details regarding the individuals involved in the incident. 

In order to quickly communicate the issue to our leaders in every market, Tim O’Day conducted an emergency mandatory teleconference call later Wednesday afternoon. He informed the team about the incident and, according to the statement, reiterated the organization's zero-tolerance policy.

O’Day concluded the meeting with the following statement: “I am committed to ensuring we as a company take the appropriate steps, including investing in additional training for our team, as well as enabling and supporting our team members to become more engaged in changing our local communities.” 

The Boyd Group said O’Day further addressed this issue and reinforced the company’s commitment to a more inclusive workplace with all Boyd Group employees. 

“While this incident involved a very small handful of employees in our organization, the Boyd Group is committed to doing more work in this area,” the statement read. “Meaningful measures will include training and supporting our entire workforce to become more active in diversity, inclusion and sensitivity in the immediate future.”


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