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CVS vows to expel executives after internal investigation and overhaul how to handle sexual harassment complaints

CVS health Ltd

CVS -0.59%

CEO Karen Lynch has dismissed several executives after an internal investigation into how they handled sexual harassment complaints, and the company handles such issues, according to people familiar with the matter. We are reviewing how to do it.

Lynch, who took office a year ago, noticed in December complaints from at least two female employees that a store manager in a New Jersey-based area had harassed or improperly touched them at work. I did.

Lynch oversaw an investigation conducted by a professional investigator and culminated in January with the dismissal of a manager who oversaw hundreds of stores and the resignation of a senior manager who oversaw him. Not previously disclosed.

On Friday, she was designed to give employees a confidential channel to outline the event by phone to about 450 senior leaders and navigate what Lynch described as a difficult situation. I made a plan to create an office.

In a memo sent to staff late Friday, Lynch said the allegations were substantiated and the regional manager was immediately dismissed. She is no longer in the company, “she writes.

People said one executive who was overseeing regional managers and talent managers was fired and a third executive left the company during the investigation. The regional manager and a third executive declined to comment. The other two did not comment immediately. ..

CVS operates 9,900 drug stores.


Photo:

The Wall Street Journal Gabby Jones

“I want to be clear. The company does not tolerate harassment, hostile, abusive or discriminatory behavior from employees of any kind, regardless of position,” she wrote in a memo. You are responsible for escalating concerns and allegations raised by her colleagues. “

Lynch said in a memo that the company has improved the internal reporting and investigation process and created a confidential channel for employees to raise such concerns to senior management, with the company’s Human Resources department. We are also reviewing the procedures of the legal department. As an employee arbitration program.

CVS, which operates 9,900 drugstores and the Aetna insurance business, has approximately 300,000 employees.The company and its rivals, the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Ltd

In a tough labor market, we could catch up with the demand for the Covid-19 vaccine and have a hard time testing it. The harsh working conditions at the stores caused employee backlash, shortening business hours and sometimes closing on weekends.

Insur veteran Lynch presided over Aetna after being acquired by CVS in 2018. She acquired it in February 2021 and made CVS the largest profitable company run by a female CEO.

Write to Sharon Terlep (sharon.terlep@wsj.com) and Suzanne Kapner (Suzanne.Kapner@wsj.com)

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It was published as “CVS Ousts Executives After Probe” on the printed version on March 12, 2022.

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