The luxury fashion conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) is being sued by one of their senior lawyers, Andowah Newton, for allegedly ignoring her complaints of harassment.
As reported by Page Six, Newton, who works in LVMH’s New York office as vice president of legal affairs and litigation counsel, said in an April Manhattan Supreme Court filing that she was harassed by an unnamed “senior level management employee” who “lunged” across her desk, “thrusting his pelvis and genitals into her face.”
Newton is taking legal action in “hopes to promote change to the culture,” after the LVMH Group said “the harassment was just a byproduct of being an attractive woman who works at a company with a French culture.”
Meanwhile, Paris-based Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has slammed her lawsuit, calling it “meritless and frivolous.”
The company also alleges in new court docs that an “impartial and unbiased” investigation conducted by a New York judge concluded that Newton “was not sexually harassed” by the employee.
Newton insists the company conducted a “sham” investigation and retaliated against her by promoting the accused male amid her sexual harassment claim.
The company, run by billionaire Bernard Arnault, believes Newton has no right to complain because she “received a significant raise in salary . . . and a bonus that is larger than any bonus she has received in the last two years.”
LVMH also insists that Newton “brazenly violated” an employee agreement that requires disputes to be heard at arbitration.
Meanwhile, as Page Six points out, “New York law now bans employers from enforcing arbitration agreements in employee sexual harassment claims in the wake of #MeToo,” the outlet writes.