A fourth woman has accused Herman Cain of sexually inappropriate conduct in 1997. See CBS news report. The woman, Sharon Bialek, says the then head of the National Restaurant Association touched her inappropriately and suggested she cooperate if she wanted a job.
She had contacted Mr. Cain after she was laid off from a part of the Restaurant Association. She suggested they meet for coffee, so she could talk to him about helping her find employment. Coffee lead to a drink and then dinner. After dinner, he touched her inappropriately. He slipped his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch. According to Ms. Bialek, she asked him what he was doing. He responded, "you want a job, right?" Mr. Cain has denied the accusation.
Ms. Bialek asks that Mr. Cain "come clean" about the complaints against him. It is long past time for her to file a complaint with any government agency. She was not an employee at the time, so she probably could not have filed a complaint with the EEOC. Ms. Bialek says she is a registered Republican.
These allegations are dramatic. If true, this conduct is the extreme sort of sex harassment we see. Once you get to four complainants, the evidence begins to look rather strong. In any discrimination case, similar allegations would be admissible – not to show that Mr. Cain is a serial harasser. But, they would be admissible to show that Mr. Cain understands sexual harassment law and procedures better than he admits.
Indeed, Mr. Cain has responded to the general allegations saying they are the result of a long, successful career. He mentions that he has engaged in "banter" many times in many situations over the decades of his business career. Anyone seeking complaints about him will surely find them, he adds. See CBS news report. Interesting. Mr. Cain is accused of sex harassment because he was so successful. I suppose Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have ten times as many similar accusations against them……