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SAP Allegedly Failed To Take Sexual Assault and Harassment Seriously

As one of the world's largest enterprise software companies, SAP has more than 100,000 workers worldwide. Two female employees have reported being raped by their SAP colleagues to the human resources department. Bloomberg News interviewed the two women and seven other employees, and they all stated that they experienced or witnessed sexual harassment at SAP.

Bloomberg reported that the SAP workplace culture involved networking events with heavy drinking, notwithstanding a written company policy intended to limit alcohol at work events. The "boys' club" climate allowed inappropriate and unwelcome advances from managers at these events. Women described co-workers and managers groping them, subjecting them to lewd comments, and following them to their hotel rooms. Women reported feeling pressured by the company to attend these events. Per Bloomberg, the two women alleging rape do not know each other and reported their incidents 18 months apart. Both women reported being out with colleagues for drinks when they believe someone drugged their drinks. Male coworkers followed them to their hotel rooms and had sex with them. The women said they were incapacitated and unable to consent. One woman had cuts and bruises when she woke up. Human resources' investigation notes show the men confirmed having sexual encounters with the women and described the women as drunk or off. However, SAP did not conclude that the sexual relations were non-consensual. Following the investigation, SAP limited the women's interaction with their alleged attackers and suggested contacting security the next time they were at an event. Bloomberg reported that SAP employees thought human resources was working against women and men faced few repercussions for their behavior.

None of the individuals interviewed by Bloomberg agreed to be identified, either because they signed an NDA or feared reprisals from the company. SAP said it has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and unlawful discrimination and threatens severe consequences for employees who violate it. SAP said it takes all allegations of misconduct and criminal behavior seriously. SAP also asserted it took appropriate action in response to the allegations.