If you live in Orlando, drink coffee, and/or use social media, you may have felt a negative wind swirling around one of our city's fastest-growing coffee chainlets in the past few days.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Orlando Weekly
's inbox have all been burning up with stories of a hostile work environment at Foxtail Coffee, with a longtime female employee claiming she was sexually harassed by COO David Sievers.
These situations, when no lawsuit or police report has been filed, are extremely difficult for media outlets to report on without laying themselves open to libel claims. However, Foxtail executives Alex Tchekmeian and Iain Yeakle told us this Tuesday night:
"We’re writing to inform you that earlier today we accepted the resignation of our Chief Operations Officer.
"Foxtail was founded on establishing a safe environment for our team members and guests. We have a strong history of fair and supportive workplace policies and look forward to continuing to implement stronger processes and procedures to support our Foxtail Family moving forward.
"We love our team, we love our community and we love the opportunity to serve coffee."
has communicated with the Foxtail employees making the complaints, but we will not be identifying them by name.
The employee who made the accusations tweeted, "I reported the COO of the company I was at for sexual harassment. I was told to accept an apology that I felt would not be sincere. I was left for a couple weeks to still work with this person and feel even more uncomfortable then I did when I could just laugh off his comments. Then when I reported I was still uncomfortable and I would be giving my notice to not work with this person I was told to just not come back, leaving me out the salary that I would have collected."
This employee, who had been part of Foxtail for two years (aka most of the short but fast-growing life of the business), said she was also "blamed for 'rallying' other members of the staff to leave." At least one other woman and a man left Foxtail due to the environment.
Contacted Tuesday night, the original employee said, "I think him resigning is truly the best outcome and I'm glad they decided to listen."
Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.