Neiman Marcus recently settled a wrongful termination lawsuit. The suit was filed by former Neiman Marcus employee, Amir Peleg, who claims that he was fired for being gay and Jewish. Peleg asked for $40 million in punitive damages and $16 million in compensatory damages for economic loss as well as emotional pain and suffering. A Los Angeles County court clerk recently announced that the department store giant settled the wrongful termination lawsuit. The jury trial for the case began on September 2nd, 2014. It was still in progress when both parties agreed to a settlement agreement. The details of the agreed upon settlement were not released to the public and neither attorney could be reached for comment regarding the settlement.
Peleg is 59 years old. He is a former salesman for the Neiman Marcus fragrance department located in Beverly Hills. He claims that he was harassed about both his sexual orientation and his religion by his supervisor. His supervisor, Miryam Emamian is an Iranian woman of Muslim faith. It was noted in court that she refused to approve time off for Jewish holidays and that she made derogatory comments when he requested vacation time to go visit Israel. Peleg also claimed that his direct supervisor, Emamian, kept portions of bonuses he was given for exemplary sales. (Bonuses were in expensive beauty products). She was fired in 2008. Peleg’s attorney said that his client was an exemplary employee and a top associate with close to $1 million in sales/year. After his dismissal from Neiman Marcus, Peleg had to move out of his home and file for bankruptcy.
Neiman Marcus claims that Peleg was dismissed because he provided thousands in free samples of expensive face cream product and that the product he gave away as “free samples” eventually made its way to a Chinese website where it was sold for profit.
For more information on wrongful termination contact the California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.