I work at one of local branches of large (over 2000 employees, branches in all major cities in country) IT company in East-central Europe. Branches are autonomous to certain degree, but all maintain one brand. Marketing, public relations, employer branding etc. is managed centrally from headquarters. Recently, the PR of company went downhill.
At beginning of the year, they had a controversial post on social media that was met with overall criticism and accusations of sexism. They handled situation very poorly, denying there is any problem at all and not acting on employees publicly insulting women who commented on the post. Eventually, they scraped further posts in the series, which I understand as silent agreement with critics.
Fast forward to present day, many people are leaving the branch where I work. Another team in my area of expertise lost half of members in just three months. Rumor over the city is that my employer does not even try to stop people from leaving, that payment is low and that working conditions are poor. Part of that rumor is factually correct, part is bad mouthing.
Now, I usually try to do my own thing and distance myself from social pressure. However, I am worried that staying with that company for much longer might hurt my future career; that prospective employers will project their bad opinion about this company on me personally.
Are these worries well founded? What are the risks of staying with company that has very bad PR, if any?