Video streaming giant Netflix has settled with a former Human Resources director that accused the company of tolerating widespread harassment and discrimination.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Barry Coleman, a former HR Director at Netflix who worked at the company in early 2016, previously claimed that the company’s “veneer” of being progressive is a lie. Coleman was let go from the company and filed a lawsuit shortly afterward making a number of allegations, one being that Netflix had an unwritten policy of “tolerating harassment and discrimination” by the company’s executives.
Netflix has now reached a settlement over Coleman’s $1.5 million claim, a stipulation of which was that he was not to talk about the lawsuit that he brought against the company. However, THR has revealed a number of facts about Coleman’s time at Netflix.
Coleman claimed that he suffered ongoing trauma and depression as a result of the tragedy but joined Netflix on a salary of $500,000 a year regardless. Graver allegedly told Coleman, “If you work at half your normal speed for the first six months, I’m okay with that.” Coleman claims that despite this, within weeks of working at Netflix he was harassed by employees for being disengaged and not doing things “the Netflix way.”
Coleman then claims that he was subject to romantic advances from a male superior in April 2016, “Being heterosexual, [Coleman] was uncomfortable with [the superior’s] advances and attempted to keep some distance so as not to offend his superior. However, the invitations to go out continued.”
Coleman claimed that he brought his complaint to Graver but an immediate investigation did not take place.
The complaint added:
During [Coleman’s] employment, Ms. Graver discussed her handling of a prior sexual harassment claim at Netflix. She told [Coleman] that the accused employee had a history of making inappropriate comments and had been warned on numerous occasions. Ms. Graver also told [Coleman] that many Netflix executives would make inappropriate sexual comments and that [she] was ‘cool’ with it, but understood that others may not be. Ms. Graver, in communicating these and other examples of Netflix unwritten policy of tolerating harassment and discrimination, made it clear to [Coleman] that he should not be ‘over-sensitive’ even when he was being harassed by his superior.
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Netflix who replied, “Coleman was employed at Netflix for less than five months and was terminated for performance issues. He raised his claims only after termination. The company investigated them and found them to be baseless. The company resolved the matter before arbitration for approximately the standard severance Coleman was entitled to for being terminated.”