Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach was suspended by his employer on Wednesday for “inappropriate workplace conduct” with current and prior female coworkers.
Achenbach will be suspended for 90 days without pay, effective immediately. According to the Post, that's the most severe punishment the organization has issued recently for violations of workplace or journalistic standards.
The paper did not elaborate on what kind misconduct Achenbach engaged in, but noted that an investigation had been conducted for two months about his behavior.
“We have investigated the allegations made against Joel, and based on the facts that The Post has gathered to date we have placed him on a 90-day disciplinary suspension for inappropriate workplace conduct,” Washington Post Managing Editor Tracy Grant said in a statement. “The Washington Post is committed to providing a safe and respectful work environment for all employees. We will continue to investigate any allegations that come to light and will take further action if necessary.”
Achenbach issued a statement in response to the suspension.
“I’m very sorry to say that I’ve behaved badly and have been suspended by The Post for three months for inappropriate workplace conduct,” the statement read. “I’ve said and done things that were unprofessional, and I apologize to the women affected by this and acknowledge their courage in speaking out.”
Achenbach is one of the most senior members of the news organization. He has worked for the Washington Post since 1990.
Several media figures have been suspended from their posts after allegations of sexual misconduct or inappropriate workplace behavior. For example, New York Times political reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended and will not return to cover the White House following allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior that were leveled against him.