The liberal activist ousted from his own firm in the wake of sexual abuse allegations once headed a public pressure campaign against sexual harassment.
Trevor Fitzgibbon was forced to shut down the public relations firm he founded after a group of former female employees went public with allegations of repeated incidences of sexual harassment and abuse. Fitzgibbon Media led a public relations blitz from the Restaurant Opportunities Center-United, a union-funded group that has been active in pushes for dramatic minimum wage hikes. The organization has argued that the minimum wage should be raised because workers who rely on tips are more likely to be subject to flirting and other forms of sexual harassment on the job.
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The co-founder of the group, Saru Jayaraman, alleged that 90 percent of all restaurant workers face sexual harassment, telling USA Today that "women who have to live off of tips are subjected to the worst kind of sexual harassment." Women who had to live off paychecks signed by Fitzgibbon say that they also had to deal with the worst kind of sexual harassment.
"Staffers reported over a half dozen incidents of sexual harassment and at least two involving sexual assault committed by Trevor FitzGibbon against his own employees," a group of employees told the Huffington Post, which broke the story. The firm folded within a day of publication.
Fitzgibbon had previously been accused of sexual harassment at a previous job, according to the report. The story sparked public outcry from the leftwing because Fitzgibbon retained the radical abortionist group NARAL as a client.
"Before you hear any different, @fitzgibbonmedia closed because we would no longer follow the leadership of a serial sexual harasser," a Fitzgibbon employee tweeted out.
Fitzgibbon declined comment, but told the Huffington Post that "the allegations against me are a distraction to the mission at hand … it is abundantly clear that an irreconcilable difference has arisen between the FitzGibbon team and me. We had no choice but to make the difficult decision to close FitzGibbon Media."
The Restaurant Opportunities Center-United’s activists continue to link sexual harassment with the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 an hour despite its relationship with Fitzgibbon.
"Your wage is based off the happiness of your customer and when it comes to women a lot of times that means sexual harassment and dealing with that on the job," an activist with the group said at a recent protest filmed by conservative research firm America Rising. "It just so happens that the restaurant industry has the highest claims filed against sexual harassment. So raising the wage to $15 an hour would mean that we would not have to depend on our customer’s happiness and having to deal with sexual harassment on the job.
The group did not respond to a request for comment.