Beer

Track 7 co-owner accused of sexual harassment, wrongful termination in lawsuit

Geoff Scott is suing Ryan Graham and Track 7 Brewing Co.’s minority owners over what he says was wrongful termination and employee abuse.
Geoff Scott is suing Ryan Graham and Track 7 Brewing Co.’s minority owners over what he says was wrongful termination and employee abuse. Sacramento Bee file

Track 7 Brewing Co. co-founders Geoff and Rebecca Scott filed a lawsuit last week against fellow co-founder Ryan Graham and the rest of the Sacramento brewery’s minority owners alleging Graham sexually harassed and belittled employees for years before unduly firing the Scotts.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, alleges Graham bragged about the size of his penis and badgered a particular female employee with inappropriate sexual statements. An independent law firm retained by Track 7, Van Dermyden Maddux LLC, determined those claims were likely valid in 2017 after interviewing 10 people involved, including Geoff Scott.

In spring 2015, Graham allegedly asked an administrative assistant for a ride home after a night of drinking. While in her car’s backseat, he began rifling through her laundry and repeatedly asked, “Where are your panties? Are they in here? I want to see them,” according to the suit.

At a barbecue the Scotts hosted in June 2016, the same employee asked another about the ingredients being used to brew a beer at Track 7’s Curtis Park location. When the other employee replied it was a secret, the administrative assistant jokingly said, “I will get it out of you somehow,” to which Graham said “I would like to be a fly on that wall,” according to the lawsuit.

It was October 2016 when Graham draped his arms around the woman and confessed he often had a hard time at work because of how “sexy” he thought she was, according to the lawsuit. That same day at the brewery’s “Tracktoberfest” party, he allegedly told a manager and the manager’s wife, “I wear a size 12 shoe and got a big old schlong hanging out my lederhosen.”

The abuse allegedly crescendoed a week later at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, when multiple employees told Van Dermyden Maddux’s investigator that Graham spent a taxi ride discussing how he liked purple nipples, asking the assistant and her mother what color their nipples were and whether their nipples “needed to be freed,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the employee settled a case against Track 7 in October 2017 for an undisclosed sum, though Sacramento County Superior Court archives bear no record of such a lawsuit.

Graham was placed on administrative leave after the Great American Beer Festival, according to the lawsuit. Despite the Scotts’ efforts to shift him into a consultant role or no active role in the brewery at all following Van Dermyden Maddux’s investigation, he was reinstated in January 2017 as the de facto “leader and visionary for Track 7.”

A year later, Geoff Scott was allegedly demoted from being in charge of day-to-day brewery operations to the packing manager as retaliation for trying to force Graham out, the lawsuit alleges. When Scott refused the demotion, he was fired and Rebecca Scott’s position was eliminated in May 2018, according to the lawsuit. He remained a managing member until September 2018, when he allegedly quit after Graham and the other co-owners voted to not pay him.

Graham, who did not respond to The Sacramento Bee’s request for comment, denied the allegations in an email to Capital Public Radio.

“This action represents their perspective and we respectfully disagree with the assertions made,” Graham wrote in the email. “There will be a proper venue and future opportunity for us to appropriately respond and we will do so at that time.”

The Grahams and Scotts co-founded Track 7 in 2011. Each family owned 35 percent of the brewery, which has locations in Natomas and Curtis Park and also owns The Other Side restaurant in East Sacramento.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.

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