John Tsirlis, Former Vice President-Sales at Cineplex, has been fired after current and former colleagues accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. John had been fired after an internal investigation into allegations against him. John was initially placed on leave without pay in late June, pending the results of that investigation.
He is the latest in a series of senior employees to leave Cineplex, which has been rocked over the last month by allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault. I spoke to 6 former employees who described the sales team as an environment of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Former employees said that John Tsirlis would touch them inappropriately behind closed doors and make them feel uncomfortable, that generally he led with fear and intimidation.
Another woman, who used the pseudonym Andrea in reporting, says she met Tsirlis in 2014. She described a relationship with him that lasted several months and began with her exposing herself and intercourse that, she told a friend in a Facebook message the next day, “wasn’t really consensual.” The woman described some of her later encounters with Tsirlis as consensual, but stated that there were others where “the lines [were] really blurred.”
Former employees also told me that John had groped them, touched them inappropriately and made sexually explicit comments in the office and at office parties as well as a former employee who told me that John groomed her over a period of time and then also made an unwanted sexual advance on her.
The women allege that John Tsirlis made lewd jokes and inappropriate sexual comments before attempting to fire them when they confronted and condemned his actions. One woman said after they had consensual sex, John Tsirlis allegedly followed her into the bathroom and urinated on her.
“This is a pattern of predatory behavior,” they added. “This abuse of power is enabled by silence. Now that I’m aware, I won’t be silent. Girls should be able to be an employee without becoming a sexual target. It’s the adult’s responsibility to be an adult.”
A leaked HR document also said Tsirlis admitted he touched women inappropriately. The women said the policy for reporting such incidents was to meet with a superior, not police. Even then, they said they never felt comfortable reporting the harassment. “I don’t think the Cineplex is doing a very good job of addressing sexual assault and protecting their students,” Attorney for the women tells. “Until they enforce and strongly have some kind of mandate that you can’t do this and get away with it people are going to, primarily males in a position of power, are going to continue to do things and get away with it.”