Even the most intense critics of the #MeToo movement will have to admit that it has caused a dramatic upheaval of office dynamics in American society and that many powerful men throughout American business have paid a huge price for office behavior that is now considered irredeemable.
This is simply the new reality.
In that context, it's pretty wild to see a lawsuit filed just last week that alleges the CEO of a dark pool operation in the year 2019 is still fond of doing things like asking a senior female HR executive at his company "What do you do for sex?"
And yet, here we sit, looking at a lawsuit on November 8th by Mary Corradino, an HR director and Global Head of Talent Acquisition" at the trading platform Liquidnet, alleging years of sexual harassment aimed at her by men at her firm. The suit specifically names CEO Seth Merrin as a co-defendant, and the accusations made against him in the suit make him appear to be a bit...let's go with "Behind the times."
Like this one for instance:
Aside from the obviously hilarious syntax of the question "What do you do for sex?" this appears to be a rather very inappropriate question for a guy to be asking his female subordinate. Call us prudes, but it really seems like Merrin should have allegedly made some better behavioral choices:
See, again, this seems to be a very stupid thing to say to a female subordinate...in front of another executive...and his wife. This Merrin appears to be an allegedly rather silly fellow. But the behavior is also so boldly unctuous and brazenly horny that it feels almost vanilla by today's obscene scale of behavior. Merrin just seems like a guy who maybe says very dumb shit to women that work for him...
Oh, that escalated quickly.
When asked by Dealbreaker whether the allegations against Merrin are believable, one former employee of Liquidnet said: "Yeah, that's not a shocker." Another former Liquidnet employee responded simply "100 percent." Both sources were complimentary regarding their interactions with Corradino when they worked together.
A spokeswoman for Liquidnet emailed Dealbreaker this statement:
"Liquidnet does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination. We take such claims very seriously and believe they run completely counter to the culture of our company. But believing this is not enough, which is why we will continue our independent investigation to objectively and thoroughly address these allegations. Based on the information reviewed to date, we believe that these claims have no merit and we intend to vigorously defend against them."
According to that spokeswoman, the investigation is being handled by a third party and overseen by Liquidnet's General Counsel.