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Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing removes employee accused of sexual harassment

A Union Craft Brewing employee accused of sexual harassment has been “relieved of his duties,” the company said in an Instagram post Monday.

In its post, Union Craft said it hired an independent consultant “several months ago" to investigate the allegations.

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The investigation concluded in August, and the individual in question was let go that same month, wrote the brewery’s co-founder Adam Benesch in an email.

“We apologize, take these allegations seriously, and are focused on making changes which we know will take time," Benesch wrote. “Actions speak louder than words and the work we have been doing behind the scenes for months support a new direction for UNION. As we move forward, we are committed to creating a safe, equitable, supportive and fun environment for our employees and community. We can and will do better."

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The company declined to name the employee, citing privacy issues.

“I know people want more detailed information, but I hope they can appreciate that we’re not able to comment on who the accused or accusers are due to privacy laws,” Benesch wrote.

The brewery also is hiring a human resources manager, and has hired consultants tasked with improving the company’s culture and provide training about workplace harassment, according to its post.

The popular brewery, a cornerstone of revitalization efforts in an industrial section of North Baltimore’s Jones Falls Valley, has faced intense backlash on social media in light of the allegations.

The company’s post was met by a chorus of angry commenters, several of whom decried the apology as “too little, too late” and called for the company to release the name of the offending employee.

The company’s statement came after an Instagram post Monday from Baltimore artist Steve Moffett, who goes by the name Mowgli. The post described harassing actions by a Union Craft employee, called for their removal and a public apology.

In his email, Benesch said the company never received a complaint but started its investigation after an earlier Instagram post by Moffett displaying art that suggested misconduct at the brewery.

“Based on our investigation, we have confirmed the validity of some of the accusations...,” Benesch wrote. “We took the findings very seriously and took action.”

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