LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ANNE FONTAINE STORE IN BOCA RATON ALLEGES SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY STORE MANAGER IMRE TOTH
On April 13, 2021, Horowitz Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman alleging that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against by store manager Imre Roth while applying for a sales person position at an Anne Fontaine boutique, a retail clothing chain specializing in women’s luxury wear. The Complaint filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court alleges that while conducting the job interview at 6000 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, Florida the store manager, Imre Toth, subjected the woman to pervasive and severe sexual harassment and discrimination.
The complaint describes that November 2019, the woman met the male store manager. Imre Toth, for an in-person job interview before the store opened for the day. The job interview, which lasted approximately ninety (90) minutes, was allegedly steeped in Irme Toth’s numerous inappropriate sexual advances, lewd behavior and inappropriate conversation according to the lawsuit.
The manager’s actions were problematic from the start. The lawsuit alleges that he kissed both of her cheeks, made comments about her physical appearance, and immediately asked if she was in a relationship. According to the lawsuit, his response when she said she was single was, “Oh good”. Moreover, he conducted the interview by himself, with no other employees in the store. He then allegedly instructed her to try on articles of sheer clothing for him. When she asked why, he reportedly said he wanted to see how she would look in them. From then on, the store manager’s inappropriate sexual behavior escalated, the lawsuit says.
As the woman tried on the clothes, the manager allegedly gawked at her and made multiple sexual comments, gestures, contacts, advances, and sexual attacks. One example is when he brought the woman a sheer top that needed tying in the back. Under the guise of helping, he allegedly grabbed her waist from behind and pressed the front of his lower body hard against her backside, stating “Wow, you’re incredible, do you feel what you’re doing to me?”
The woman says she felt him press his erect penis against her buttocks, and immediately demanded he stop. He did not. While trying on a sheer skirt he barged into the dressing room, uninvited, lifted up the back of the skirt and said, ”Oh my, you have a great body, your ass is incredible.” Shocked and appalled, she allegedly again told him to stop. He finally left the dressing room. At this point though, she was exasperated and upset. She changed back into her clothes and started to leave the store.
The manager refused to let her leave. Instead, he reportedly said, “Let me show you what I have done with the inventory area and the changes I’ve made.” Once she was in the back stockroom he again pulled her body against his lower body and said, “Do you want to work under me, over me, or do you like it from behind?” Yet again, the woman felt he was sexually aroused. Again she told him to stop, and asked if another associate would be coming in soon, to which he replied, “not until 11:00 a.m.”
After fending him off one final time, the woman prepared to leave again. At this point, she was offered the job, where Toth would be serving as her manager. She did not and could not accept the position, as no reasonable woman would accept an offer of employment under such circumstances of extreme sexual harassment. On the basis of her sex, she was violated, demeaned, embarrassed, and humiliated according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that had she been a male applicant, she would not have subjected her to such deplorable actions. The lawsuit claims that as a result of Anne Fontaine’s unlawful gender discrimination and sexual harassment, the woman has suffered lost wages and severe emotional distress. The lawsuit also alleges that Anne Fontaine failed to conduct a reasonable background search into Mr. Toth, which would have revealed he was unfit for his managerial duties.
United States law recognizes sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. It applies to private employers, as well as government and labor organizations. As such, there is an expectation of trust and decency when seeking employment opportunities in the workforce. Sexual harassment and discrimination by any company representative breaches that trust, goes against our societal code of ethics, and breaks the law. Any organization in which sexual harassment and discrimination is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen their employees and to protect the public.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against employers on behalf of clients who were sexually assaulted in the workplace and other locations. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.