Allegations of Aramark workplace harassment prompt investigation

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Former Boise State student Ryan Benson shared a blog post on Aug. 3 titled “Dear Boise State: An Open Letter.” This letter sparked a formal internal investigation by Boise State’s Office of Institutional Compliance and Ethics (OICE) looking into allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination.

In Benson’s letter, he detailed his experiences before and after working for Aramark—a corporation Boise State contracts with to oversee all of the University’s dining services. He specifically cited consistent harassment from the new marketing manager when Benson was promoted to a new position. Benson’s allegations include bullying from his manager, termination without notice and continual harassment after being fired.

Benson made the decision to leave Boise State and is now attending University of Idaho. He is currently working with the Boise State administrators in attempt to receive a refund for his tuition from last term.

Gayla Thomas-Dabney is the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the OICE. She oversees all University Policy 1060 and 1065 investigations related to discrmination and Title IX, and is also responsible for the University’s Affirmative Action Program.

According to Thomas-Dabney, she is unable to disclose any details on the case.

“All I can say is that our office is currently working very diligently to complete an outcome letter of these allegations. Once the outcome notice has been completed, the appropriate parties will be notified of the outcome,” Thomas-Dabney said.

Thomas-Dabney went on to explain the process of an investigation takes an average of 60 days, dependending on the details of the case. The goal of the OICE is not only to uphold policies of the University, but also to remain neutral and non-biased throughout investigations.

“Facts are what drive the investigation. When someone files a complaint, it’s not our story—it’s their recount of the complaint of allegations. We take the Complainant, the Respondent or accused’s responses, all the witnesses and anyone else who may have information about the allegations and frame a conclusion and present a notice of outcome report to the Complainant and Respondent,”” Thomas-Dabney said.

According to Benson, this internal investigation is the third time someone has looked into this matter. He also said he has not be notified of a conclusion reached regarding the investigation.

The Arbiter reached out to Aramark, but have yet to receive a response.

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About Author

Taylor is a senior studying communication with an emphasis in journalism and media studies and a minor in dance. Her free time consists of writing, listening to NPR, dancing, reading, exploring, coffee and cuddling with her dog Minnie. As Online Editor, Taylor is excited to manage the online aspects of The Arbiter’s content through the website, social media, and the newsletter. She is passionate about the importance of student journalism on campus, the role of journalism in upholding democratic values, and believes The Arbiter consistently strives to accomplish these goals in the best way possible.

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