Accusations of Bullying and Sexual Harassment at Champagne Houses

According to Wine Searcher, employees at two LVMH-owned Champagne houses, Krug and Veuve Clicquot, have been taken to court on charges of workplace bullying and sexual harassment. A Krug employee charged with sexually harassing three female co-workers is facing a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of over $3,000, and has been fired. Meanwhile, three Veuve Clicquot employees are accused of workplace bullying, including physical abuse as well as verbal humiliation, and could be facing six-12 months in prison.

Two of the three accused of bullying are reported to be delegates of the French labor union, the CGT, and had been using their positions to pressure other employees to join the union and participate in strike action. Their prosecutor made clear that the CGT itself is not in question, but “a group of people who have abused their power to intimidate union recruits and even executives.”

Investigation into the two Champagne houses began in late 2013, when an incriminating report from health and safety inspectors drew further questioning. Over a dozen employees came forward at that time to complain of bullying and sexual harassment from the union reps.

Final decisions in both cases will be made on May 29. [Wine Searcher][Photo: Flickr/Adam Barhan]