WASHINGTON--The National Restaurant Association confirmed Friday that in July, 1999, a female employee complained about then NRA president Herman Cain--now a GOP White House hopeful whose campaign this week has been consumed by the surfacing of three allegations of sexual harrassment while he helmed the trade group.
The settlement agreement, the NRA said in a statement, came with no one admitting any liability. Cain disputed the allegations, the statement from National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney said. She said the NRA said it was also willing to waiver the confidentiality requirement in the agreement, but the woman involved prefers not to get involved.
Sweeney's statement: "Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett's client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association's existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett's client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations. Notwithstanding the Association's ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett's client to comment. As indicated in Mr. Bennett's statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.
"The Association has robust policies designed to ensure that employees with concerns may bring them forward for prompt investigation and resolution, without risk of retaliation. The Association is fully committed to equal employment opportunity and to an environment that is free from any discrimination or harassment."