May 26, 2018
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Report: L.L. Bean CEO offers help to employees hit by Trump travel ban

Courtesy of L.L. Bean
Courtesy of L.L. Bean
Stephen Smith, president and CEO of Freeport-based L.L. Bean.
By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith last Thursday offered help to employees affected by President Donald Trump’s embattled order to bar visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Politico reported Monday that it obtained an internal memo, dated Feb. 2, wherein Smith wrote the company is “committed to help our affected employees in any way possible.”

A federal judge the next day ordered a hold on the ban, a decision that was upheld on appeal Sunday in a ruling at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The ban remained suspended Monday afternoon, though battles loom in federal courts across the country.

The memo from Smith comes after the company became the target of an anti-Trump boycott effort, based on political donations supporting Trump by Linda Bean, a company board member and granddaughter of founder Leon Leonwood Bean.

Smith wrote that he penned the memo in spite of the controversy and the company’s effort to distance itself from political crossfire.

“While we have gone to great pains over the past few weeks to distance ourselves from an unfortunate and unwanted political situation, there have been some more recent developments that have prompted me to share some thoughts and direction,” Smith wrote.

Politico reported that Smith encouraged employees “personally grappling” with the fallout of Trump’s executive order to contact him directly.

The president’s executive order signed Jan. 27 barred citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country until officials review security procedures for evaluating visa applications.

Representatives for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.


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