As the U.S.’s leading advocacy group for animals, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) typically shows annual revenues of approximately $230 million. However, the Washington DC-based nonprofit organization generated unwanted news headlines over the last year as its then-CEO Wayne Pacelle faced accusations of sexual harassment allegations by several women. Now, less than six months after resigning as HSUS CEO, Pacelle returns to the animal welfare sphere as he joins political action committee Animal Wellness Action, and questions are arising about how HSUS handled the charges against its former CEO.
Pacelle’s comeback to the animal protection realm resurfaces the past sexual misconduct claims, claims that face a growing prospect of litigation. Lieff Cabraser partner Kelly Dermody, chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group, who has been retained by a group of HSUS employees, stated “I am continuing to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct within HSUS over the course of many years.”