To: Nandita Bakhshi, CEO and Sheri Paulo, Chief HR Officer

Bank of the West: Stop Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Employees at Bank of the West are consistently subjected to lewd comments, unwanted sexual advances, and discriminatory language towards employees. Employees are fearful of speaking up due to retaliation by management. Bank of the West’s workplace culture is full of pervasive sexual harassment and discrimination. Employees should not feel fearful and uncomfortable going to work or speaking to management or Human Resources. Human Resources has failed to take allegations of sexual harassment seriously, and they consistently brush off any issues brought up by employees.

Bank of the West needs to take any issue brought to management and Human Resources seriously. Ignoring employee reports because they appear to be too emotional and distraught is not appropriate. Employees who have reported sexual harassment or discrimination need to feel comfortable in their workplace. Human Resources and management need to be supportive rather than accusatory and not blame everything on the victim. Bank of the West needs to acknowledge its sexual harassment problem and rampant discrimination to take corrective measures to resolve the issues.

Why is this important?

Employees should not be fearful of management or Human Resources, otherwise what is the point of them? Employees should feel comfortable coming forward with sexual harassment or discrimination issues instead of being retaliated against, harassed, bullied, or singled out. Human Resources and management threatening employees jobs or giving verbal warnings unrelated to work performance due to reporting systemic issues within the bank is disgraceful. Our job is to provide customers the absolute best customer service. If our employer does not treat us right, how do they expect us to do our jobs successfully? Turnover is too high at Bank of the West and for good reasons. Management and Human Resources do not care about employees and corner employees into submission to keep their power. We cannot allow this to happen anymore. We should not feel powerless or hopeless. Our workplaces need to be open and inclusive to let the best possible work to come to fruition.

Bank of the West needs to act fast to correct these issues and hire a third-party agency to review the corporate sexual harassment policy and diversity and inclusion policy. Additionally, all employees, especially Human Resources and management, need to go through in-depth bias training provided by an organization specializing in diversity and inclusiveness training, fire perpetrators of sexual harassment, and management/employees that blatantly discriminate against minorities and disabled employees.