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Employees of the high-end British clothing company Ted Baker have launched a petition alleging that the company culture allows "harassment to go unchallenged".

Ted Baker CEO Ray Kelvin, who famously never shows his face in photos, has been accused of inappropriate behavior by employees.

It added: "Ray greets many people he meets with a hug - be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague".

According to Organise, more than 100 Ted Baker staff have submitted stories of harassment.

The shares were down more than 12% in Monday trading after the claims - which the company said were "entirely at odds" with the values of the business and Mr Kelvin - surfaced over the weekend. "Now, over 100 anonymised reports of harassment are sat with Ted Baker's board", Organise said in a blog post about the matter.

Shares of Ted Baker, which operates almost 500 stores worldwide, plunged 15 percent on the London Stock Exchange to a five-year low on the news.

The allegations against Ray Kelvin were made by a reporter for the magazine Retail Week, the day after it emerged that some staff at the fashion chain had begun a petition against him.

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"It's very uncomfortable and unnecessary, a simple handshake can be okay".

According to this year's Sunday Times Rich List, the 62-year-old is worth 522 million ($666 million) - ranking him the 244th wealthiest person in Britain.

It described hugs as "part of Ted Baker's culture", but said that they are "absolutely not insisted upon".

"Pursuing the issue through the "proper" channels i.e".

But the firm said there were "very clear and robust HR policies in place to provide all employees with a wide range of reporting options for any issues that they might encounter, including a completely confidential and anonymous, 24/7 helpline".

An independent committee of non-executive directors had also been appointed "to ensure that the views and concerns are recognised and carefully considered and that appropriate responses are taken forward".

The first Ted Baker shop opened in Glasgow in 1988.


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