The Charles Schwab Corp. said on Thursday it will investigate claims made by a former TD Ameritrade Inc. employee that she was sexually harassed two years ago.
The former employee, Cortney Kotzian, most recently had the title of principal relationship manager, self-directed plan services, and was registered with TD Ameritrade in Omaha, Nebraska from March 2017 through May, according to her BrokerCheck report. Schwab last year acquired TD.
Using social media sites TikTok and LinkedIn, Kotzian on Tuesday claimed in posts that in November 2019 a manager, whose identity could not be independently verified, was insisting she wear a hoodie as part of a casual Friday. She said she was not going to wear a hoodie, just like many other employees, when the conversation took an ugly turn.
“He corrected me and stated he could in fact force me to wear whatever he liked,” Kotzian said on the video. “I laughed and mocked him and said, what are you going to do, send a memo to the CEO requesting a hoodie mandate?”
“At this point the tone changed from banter to serious, and he said no,” Kotzian said. “But what I can do is get your home address off of [human resources platform] PeopleSoft, drive to your house Friday morning, tie you up, take that off and force you into a hoodie. I told him he crossed the line and needed to leave me alone.”
That prompted a comment from none other than Walt Bettinger, Schwab’s CEO, who comments and responds to Schwab employees’ LinkedIn messages.
“Harassment is unacceptable at Schwab,” Bettinger wrote. “We have a zero-tolerance policy. We will investigate and take appropriate action.”
Kotzian did not respond for a request for an interview via LinkedIn. Industry news site Ignites on Wednesday reported Kotzian’s claims and Bettinger’s response.
A Schwab spokesperson echoed Bettinger’s statement in an email.
“Harassment is unacceptable at Schwab and we take every allegation seriously,” the spokesperson wrote. “Cortney Kotzian’s statements relate to conduct that allegedly occurred prior to Schwab’s acquisition of TD Ameritrade and they were investigated at that time. This week, Schwab retained outside counsel to conduct an independent review of Ms. Kotzian’s allegations.”
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