FASHION LAW: REVLON RUSHES TO AID CEO AGAINST CHARGES OF ANTI-SEMITISM
There’s a stink in the air at Revlon, and it doesn’t smell like its Charlie fragrance line. Former Revlon Inc. chief scientist has sued the corporation for discrimination, citing a series of major allegations against CEO Lorenzo Delpani.
Filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of New York, former Revlon chief scientific officer Alan Meyers claims that he was terminated on December 10, 2014 for raising what the company termed “ghost” safety concerns in its laboratories. Meyers says he expressed concern over the quality of raw materials used by Spanish beauty company Colomer Group after it was acquired by Revlon in 2013. Delpani allegedly urged him to keep the complaints quiet so that the CEO could save face, maintaining “plausible deniability” about the issues.
After Delpani took over Revlon in 2013, Meyers – who is Jewish – claims a wave of anti-Semitic discrimination ensued, citing comments recently reported in the New York Post. Meyers’ suit reports that the Italian-born chief executive expressed surprise that there weren’t more Jews at Revlon considering majority shareholder Ron Perelman is Jewish-American and “Jews stick together.” Delpani is also accused of stating that he “could smell a black person when he entered a room” at a meeting in South Africa in October.
Meyers also recounted a story of being humiliated at an important meeting with other executives, when he was allegedly ordered to act as human easel and hold a whiteboard for 30 minutes, covering his head and torso. He says the stress put him in the hospital with chest pains.
Revlon has fiercely refuted all Meyers’ allegations, stating that the lawsuit is “completely meritless” and that it fully intends to fight all the former scientists “baseless claims.”
“Alan Meyer’s lawsuit is a completely meritless attack by a former employee who is trying to distract from his own failed performance with false, sensational, and offensive allegations. Our Chairman, Ronald Perelman has expressed his unequivocal support for Lorenzo Delpani in the face of these offensive allegations,” said Revlon’s statement. “Tellingly, Mr. Meyers repeatedly acknowledged his own embarrassment over failures and applauded Mr. Delpani’s expertise and vision. These outrageous allegations are being made after Mr. Meyers voluntarily resigned in light of his failed performance and withdrew his acceptance of the severance agreement. Instead, he chose to file a lawsuit in the midst of the holiday in an attempt to get an unwarranted additional payout. We will aggressively fight these baseless claims and this frivolous action.”
The case is Meyers v. Revlon Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. No. 14-10213.