If your New York City employer sexually harassed you — or failed to promote you for illegal and/or despicable reasons — take heart that you work in a country where legal system affords victims of workplace mistreatment robust rights.
Consider, by contrast, the following crazy story out of Japan.
A former Prada executive, Rina Bovrisse, sued her old employer for multiple grievances. Her CEO allegedly demoted and/or transferred 15 women coworkers, calling them “old, fat, ugly, [and] disgusting.”
On October 2012, after petitioning the courts for three years, Bovrisse lost her case in Japanese court. The judge ruled that Bovrisse and her compatriots at Prada Japan had, indeed, been discriminated against — but that the harassing behavior was okay and that subordinate employees should have been able to deal with it. Bovrisse’s representatives argued that the Japanese Constitution should have protected her, but the single mom now must take her case before the United Nations’ High Commission on Human Rights.
Testimony from senior executives at Prada Japan was simply jaw-dropping.
A senior HR Manager, for instance, testified that “I did receive an order by [David] Sesia, CEO, that I told her to ‘lose weight.’ This is, from our perspective, to maintain Prada brand image. We expect the store staff are supervised on the body shape.”
Adding insult to injury (and then some), Prada Japan then countersued Bovrisse for $780,000. The company accuses her of damaging the brand. Per Bovrisse: “they’re basically saying anything that they find that’s negative about Prada – people blogging about Prada’s bags [for example] – I’m making them write… they’re really going crazy.”
A petition at change.org is urging the Prada Company to cease its legal action against Bovrisse. As of this posting, the petitioners have only collected 200 out of 10,000 signatures desired.
Lessons for Your New York Sexual Harassment Case?
Whether your boss demoted you because you failed to reciprocate a sexual advance; or you fell victim to some other mistreatment at your workplace, you need help.
Joseph & Kirschenbaum, LLP, is one of the most respected, versatile employment law firms in New York City. We have successfully gone up against the biggest names in Manhattan’s restaurant industry, fighting on behalf of wait staff, barbacks and other employees. We can help you, too. Call us today at (212) 688-5640 to schedule your free consultation.