TIME’S UP Responds to Harassment and Misogyny at CBS

CBS, Changing Companies, Changing Culture, Corporate Policy, Equity, Power, Safety, TIME'S UP Entertainment, TIME'S UP Impact Lab


On December 8, the Los Angeles Times published a new investigation into CBS, which uncovered ongoing harassment, discrimination, and retaliation at the company’s local stations.

Jennifer Klein, chief strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP Now, responds with the following statement:

“The LA Times investigation uncovered a troubling fact: women employees at CBS-owned stations have continued to encounter age- and gender-based discrimination and harassment, but were unaware that other employees endured the same.

“These latest allegations make clear just how important it is to continue to tackle the systemic barriers and biases that hamper women’s advancement and equality in the workplace. Firing a few top executives, hiring more women, and putting women on the board of a company is not sufficient. It takes a holistic examination of workplace culture and a sustained commitment by all leaders to make change.

“In fact, in September 2018, TIME’S UP Now wrote to CBS with specific suggestions for the steps they should take. It is our sincere hope that CBS will make a transparent commitment to the long-term structural changes needed to change workplace culture, from top to bottom. That’s the only way to ensure the safety and dignity of employees across the company.”

The recommendations TIME’S UP made to CBS on September 11, 2018 are:

  • A full, independent investigation of any allegations of sexual harassment, regardless of whether the subject of the investigation resigns or departs. Those who come forward must also be protected from potential retaliation.
  • A workplace culture that represents the values of safety, equity, and dignity, with this tone set from the top of the company. The board should establish regular (not just special committee) oversight of workplace culture as a matter of corporate governance, and senior management should be held accountable with specific and measurable benchmarks.
  • A hiring, promotion, and retention policy that will encourage a diverse workforce at all levels and set and measure goals for achieving diversity. This includes aggressive recruitment for truly diverse management talent. As listed on the company’s website, the nine current most senior members of the CBS Corporation Executive management team and the heads of each of CBS’s Divisions are all men.
  • A holistic examination of the workplace culture at CBS, including not just the policies and processes addressing sexual harassment, investigations and retaliation, but also diversity and inclusion efforts at all levels of the company, from the board to the pipeline for entry-level positions. This means diversity in its broadest form, including gender, race, ethnicity, LGBT, gender identity, and disability. Progress has been made in adding more women to the CBS Board, but the board still does not have a sufficient representation of people of color.
  • Providing training at all levels of the company, including the board, on the company’s values, diversity, and inclusion, and management skills, and committing to providing this training on a regular basis.
  • Undertaking a pay equity study and committing to closing any racial, ethnic, or gender gaps.

TIME'S UP Now

TIME’S UP™ Now insists upon safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds. We work to make sure women are free from harassment and other forms of discrimination on the job, have equal opportunity for economic security, and can achieve the highest positions of power wherever they work. TIME’S UP Now is an independent, nonpartisan, and not-for-profit 501(c)(4) charitable organization that works for change across culture, companies, and laws.