If you fire an employee for sexual harassment, it’s probably not a great idea to help him get a job at a charity intended to help children. Yet according to Pro Publica, that’s exactly what the American Red Cross did.
According to the report, Save the Children hired Gerald Anderson in 2013 on the strength of his “very positive references” from the Red Cross, where among other accomplishments, he led the charity’s response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The references failed to mention that Anderson was allegedly ousted from the organization after being accused of sexually harassing one employee and possibly raping another.
When Anderson left the Red Cross, Pro Publica wrote, the charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised his “leadership,” “dedication,” and “hard work,” and gave him great references. Based on that recommendation, he was hired at Save the Children. The Red Cross admits that in retrospect–and in the spotlight of the #MeToo movement–the “laudatory language used in association with Mr. Anderson’s departure was inappropriate and regrettable, given the circumstances.” The charity has also now apologized to Save the Children for what amounts to wrapping up a piece of trash in a big red bow.