An update on our Indianapolis location
Last Monday, four team members at our Indianapolis location had their employment terminated. Of those terminated, two members identify as women, and two chose not to gender themselves to BrewDog. While we have a policy to not identify employees’ sexual orientation or preferences, we now know that the four employees are also members of the LGTBQIA+ community. Those former employees claimed that our decision to end their employment was discriminatory, based on gender and sexual orientation.
Those events have sparked a lot of introspection at BrewDog. We believe that equity is core to everything we do, and we have had to ask ourselves if we have been living up to our own standards.
All businesses have the responsibility to take any claim of discrimination extremely seriously. Consequently, we immediately commissioned a third-party investigation into these claims. The investigation was conducted by Centric, a third-party human resources provider. The investigators found that there was no evidence of discrimination, in any form, that played a role in the decision to terminate the four employees, and that the terminations carried out were solely based on performance-related issues. While there have been questions about what the performance issues were, we will continue to keep those details internal as is our practice with current and former employees.
However, BrewDog USA has always strived to be more than just any business. We recognize that engaging with team members legally is not the same as maintaining a safe, healthy, and inclusive culture. That’s why we are turning our attention to two other findings of the investigation:
- There were inconsistencies regarding human resources processes for these terminations.
- The Indianapolis location allowed an unhealthy work environment for its front of house employees, and we did not do enough to identify those issues or support the team there.
To the team members impacted, we apologize for the pain you’re experiencing. By not following our own policies and practices, we created a situation where you felt you were being judged based on your identities. As a company and employer of incredible people from many walks of life, we are deeply saddened you were put in that position.
We have reached out to those affected and invited them to meet with our US CEO, with their legal counsel paid for by us should they request it, to discuss what happened, and address any remaining questions.
BrewDog USA is made up of a wonderfully diverse group of people. That diversity has made our company more innovative, more ethical, and more connected to the communities we serve. We will continue to listen, continue to learn and continue to focus on having as strong and positive an impact in the world as we can.
To start, we are taking the following steps:
- Hold a virtual “town hall” with the current employees in Indianapolis to answer any outstanding questions and for their input on how we might improve our culture there moving forward
- Provide additional training for all management regarding our onboarding and termination policies and best practices
- Provide resources for the BrewDog USA team to address workplace culture
- Adding diversity, equity, and inclusion training to our employee onboarding and providing regular refreshers
We’ll be evaluating additional opportunities to ensure we’re a safe and inclusive place for all team members, Equity Punks and customers.
Jason Block, CEO BrewDog USA