Reykjavík Energy Addresses Workplace Harassment Accusations Skip to content

Reykjavík Energy Addresses Workplace Harassment Accusations

By Yelena

Reyjavík Energy (OR) is now working toward changes to address the conclusions of a thorough assessment of the company’s work culture, RÚV reports. Around two months ago, the company was accused of sustaining a toxic work environment. The accusations were connected in part to the departure of two directors within the company. This prompted a detailed investigation into the company’s work culture, the results of which were released earlier this week.

Sexual harassment complaints

Reykjavík Energy is an energy and utility company owned almost exclusively by the City of Reykjavík. The company’s CEO Bjarni Bjarnason requested temporary leave during the investigation, purportedly to ensure the impartiality of the investigation. Bjarni Bjarnason has been implicated in a workplace harassment scandal which originally centered around the “inappropriate behaviour” of Bjarni Már Júlíusson, former CEO of ON Power, a subsidiary of Reykjavík Energy. Former ON Power employee Áslaug Thelma Einarsdóttir says Bjarni knew of her complains of sexual harassment at the company but failed to address them.

Some felt silenced

The assessment concluded that employees at the company generally experience support from their colleagues and superiors and feel good at work. Five out of six Reykjavík Energy employees measure their trust for their superiors highly, though a rather smaller proportion express trust in the company’s senior management.

Hildur Björnsdóttir, city councillor and Reykjavík Energy board member expressed satisfaction that the results of the assessment showed most of the company’s employees are happy with their work environment. She stated, however, that the report brought to light violations the company must address, and criticises that parts of the assessment have not been made available either to the company’s board or the public. “I know of people who experienced that as a sort of silencing,” she remarked.

Reykjavík Energy considers further investigation

According to the report, 30% of the company’s employees have experienced bullying in the workplace, and 104 employees left the company over the last four years. Hildur stated the company’s board would take the conclusions to heart and was considering whether additional investigation was called for.

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