Levi’s president says she was fired for anti-school closure views

Levi’s brand president and longtime employee Jennifer Sey said she was forced out of the company for speaking out publicly against COVID-19 school closures in California.

The mother-of-four wrote in Bari Weiss’ Substack “Common Sense” newsletter on Monday that she turned down Levi’s offer of a $1 million severance package because she didn’t want to sign on. non-disclosure agreement “about why I was pushed out.”

Sey, who had risen through the ranks at Levi’s since 1999, said CEO Charles Bergh told her late last year that she was on her way to becoming the company’s next leader – but all she had to do was “stop talking about the school thing.

She said the saga first erupted when employees began complaining that she was publicly questioning whether schools should be closed in San Francisco at the start of the pandemic.

Jennifer Sey turned down Levi’s offer of a $1 million severance package.
Levi Strauss & Co.
Jennifer Sei
Jennifer Sey had worked her way up at Levi’s since 1999.

The 52-year-old said she held rallies, spoke on local media, attended meetings at the mayor’s office and spoke out against policies on her Twitter.

“I was convicted for speaking out,” she said.

Sey said he received a call from Levi’s head of corporate communications in the summer of 2020, urging him to “calm down.” She said the calls continued to come from the legal department, human resources, a board member and CEO Charles Bergh.

ā€œI refused to stop talking. I continued to expose hypocritical and unproven policies, met with the mayor’s office, and eventually uprooted my entire life to California – lived there for over 30 years – and moved my family in Denver so my kindergartner can finally experience the real school,” Sey said.

The mother said the final straw for Levi’s was when she appeared on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show about her decision to leave San Francisco.

She said complaints from Levi’s employees were escalating as colleagues accused her of being anti-science, anti-fat and anti-trans.

Jennifer Sei
Jennifer Sey said the CEO told her it was “untenable” for her to stay with the company any longer.
Twitter / @JenniferSey

Sey, who has two black sons, said she was also accused of being racist “because the public school system in San Francisco was filled with black and brown kids, and apparently I didn’t care if they died. “.

The executive said Levi’s diversity, equity and inclusion manager asked her to make an “apology visit” – but she refused.

ā€œEvery day a folder of my tweets and all of my online interactions was sent to the CEO by the head of corporate communications,ā€ Sey said.

Jennifer Sey with her family at San Francisco Pride in 2015.
Jennifer Sey said Levi’s has always been known for representing “freedom” and “individualism”.
Courtesy of Jennifer Sey

“During a management team meeting, the CEO made an offhand remark that I was acting like Donald Trump.” I felt embarrassed and turned off my camera to collect myself.

Over the past month, Sey said the CEO told her it was “untenable” for her to stay with the company any longer.

Sey said Levi’s has always been known for representing ‘freedom’ and ‘individualism’ – but now claims the company is ‘trapped in trying to please the crowd’.

“In this, it’s like so many other American companies: held hostage by intolerant ideologues who don’t believe in true inclusion or diversity,” she said.

New York Post

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