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CBS Sets New Human-Resources Measures

After a string of high-profile problems, CBS is instituting new human-resources measures across the company.

CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl and CBS Television Studios president David Stapf sent a memo to staffers today, informing them of the new measures being implemented. The memo, a copy of which was obtained by Variety, states that each CBS Studios production will now have a dedicated HR person assigned to it.

“These will be highly trained HR executives who will be on our sets on a regular basis to ensure safety and build trust with the cast, producers and staff,” the memo states. Furthermore, CBS is installing a new third party system for filing complaints with HR.

“Professionals outside of CBS will receive these calls and emails, providing another confidential reporting option for our production employee base,” the memo says. “In addition, with the support of Laurie Rosenfield and the HR specialists, we will expand our training and development programs. New in-person, anti-harassment training will be introduced for all CBS Studios’ productions, as well as customized training as necessary.”

CBS declined to comment.

The new measures come after longtime CBS boss Leslie Moonves was ousted from the company last year following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault going back decades. After that, former “NCIS: New Orleans” producer and showrunner Brad Kern was fired after it came to light he was investigated twice in 2016 by CBS’ human resources department for his workplace behavior. Complaints against Kern included accusations of verbal harassment against women and making racially charged comments.

Most recently, Variety exclusively reported that CBS’ casting chief Peter Golden was exiting following allegations that he was resistant to casting actors of color on CBS shows, as well as allegations he was verbally abusive to staffers.

Deadline first reported the new HR measures.

Read the full memo below.

Good morning everyone!

For several months, Joe and his team have been keeping us informed about CBS’ commitment to cultural transformation and dedicating more resources to important areas that ensure CBS is a safe, fair and inclusive place to work.

Today, we are reaching out to share a few important, new developments the Company has in the works that speak directly to our production process. The details for these programs are still being finalized and will be formally announced before our shows start production this summer. We wanted you to hear about it from us first.

The main headline is that we will have a very expanded and visible Human Resources structure supporting all CBS Studios’ productions. A big part of this will be the introduction of “human resources production partners” assigned to all shows. These will be highly trained HR executives who will be on our sets on a regular basis to ensure safety and build trust with the cast, producers and staff. These production partners will provide a recognizable name and face for everyone on set, regardless of title, to confidentially discuss any potential workplace situation.

At the same time, an independent, third party reporting system for all employees – both in CBS offices and on sets –is being put into place. Professionals outside of CBS will receive these calls and emails, providing another confidential reporting option for our production employee base.

In addition, with the support of Laurie Rosenfield and the HR specialists, we will expand our training and development programs. New in-person, anti-harassment training will be introduced for all CBS Studios’ productions, as well as customized training as necessary.

We also wanted to remind everyone that CBS recently announced a new Chief Business Ethics and Compliance Officer, Hazel Mayers, who is centralizing the Employees Relations function and reporting procedures. We will have more information from Hazel about this in the days ahead.

A safe and positive workplace forms the best possible creative culture and lets people do their best work. Thank you all for sharing our commitment to this process. We look forward to discussing more details about these programs with you, as well as with our producers, in the weeks ahead.

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