The famous fashion company Giorgio Armani Corp is known for many things, but knowingly covering up an incident of sexual harassment then allowing the victim to be wrongfully terminated afterwards simply isn't one of those things its known for.
But this is exactly what many residents of Indiana learned this week after news media in New York began buzzing about the recent lawsuit filed against the company. The former employee says that not only was she consistently subjected to sexual harassment by her female boss but was humiliatingly fired after complaining about it.
The woman, who had been an executive assistant at Armani since October 2011, claims that it all started when she was called to her boss' private office for a meeting. Upon closing the door, she claims that her boss "then proceeded to take off her pants and expose herself." She says she immediately filed a complaint with human resources, but when the uncomfortable behavior continued despite repeatedly filing further complaints, she realized that her gripes were falling on deaf ears.
Things got so bad that at a going-away party for her boss, who had accepted another job at another fashion company, she was called to her boss' side who then gestured to her and announced to everyone that she had tried to get her fired. This was in wake of her boss' efforts to silence her by submitting negative reports despite receiving "stellar" evaluations from other Armani executives. After being put on "performance counseling" for 30 days, she was suddenly fired in October 2012.
She is now suing her former employer for failing to reprimand the boss despite multiple sexual harassment complaints and wrongful termination despite evidence that showed she was being retaliated against.
Source: The New York Daily News, "Ex-Armani employee sues company, claims her former boss sexually harassed her by taking off her pants in closed-door meeting," Barbara Ross, et al, Jan. 15, 2013