Stella’s pledges to create HR department, says audit underway following toxic workplace complaints

A Manitoba restaurant chain provided an update Tuesday on how it is responding to complaints from current and former staff and said it is being audited by the province’s employment standards department.

In a statement Tuesday, Stella’s also reiterated it is taking steps to address claims of a toxic work environment and announced plans to take more, including establishing a human resources department and forming health and safety committees at each location to help make sure updated policies are being ‘appropriately applied.’

Earlier this month, the business came under fire after an Instagram account sprung up detailing a range of allegations from employees and former employees, from sexual harassment to unethical work practices.

Within days, Stella’s apologized and announced two members of senior management had been placed on indefinite leaves of absence.

READ MORE: Stella’s apologizes, two employees on indefinite leave after online controversy

In its most recent statement, Stella’s said an independent review by human resources firm People First is underway, along with the provincial audit.

The company said it is accepting full responsibility for not ensuring workplace polities were clearly understood by some managers or applied at all locations.

“The values upon which Stella’s was founded in 1999 are not reflected in the stories shared through the social media campaign,” the statement read.