Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani must face possible personal liability for sexual harassment at a trial later this month, Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled last week. Bonnie Solomon, who was the director of advertising at the Giorgio Armani Corp., for a little more than a year before being fired early last year, presented enough evidence that she had been let go because of her sex and that she was subject to a hostile work environment to survive a motion for summary judgment, Wood ruled in Solomon v. Giorgio Armani Corp., 99 Civ. 1838. Wood noted, however, that Solomon would have a “significant burden” in proving her case at trial because she conceded that apart from certain actions by Armani and another high-level executive at the company, the work environment at the company was “not hostile.” In addition, by her own accounting, Wood noted, Solomon had had limited contact with Armani: during three trips to Italy and on three occasions in New York. Even though Solomon had alleged several instances of harassing conduct, including one situation in which she said Armani called her “a difficult whore” in Italian, those incidents standing alone would not be enough to make out a case of sexual discrimination, either through harassment or her firing, Wood noted. But, the judge added, it would be inappropriate to dismiss the case on a motion for summary judgment because Solomon claimed to have been subjected to “constant humiliation” in addition to the specific incidents alleged. Among the allegations that might be construed as supporting a harassment finding were the following: � Armani hugged Solomon in a “macabre” fashion different from the manner in which he hugged men in the office. � Armani taunted her during a meeting when he was unhappy with her, stating, “Bonnie cazzo cazzo Bonnie.” The word “cazzo” translated into English means “penis,” according to Solomon’s legal papers. � The chief executive officer of the Armani corporation, Pino Brusone, rubbed her shoulders and said suggestively, “Bonnie sexy sexy Bonnie sexy.” Under the federal civil rights statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no claim of personal liability could be asserted against Armani, Wood wrote. Wood noted that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has construed the statute as aimed only at “employer-entities.” But, she added, no such similar limitation exists in either the New York State or New York City anti-discrimination statutes. Under both the city and state laws, she explained, personal liability can attach if a supervisor personally engages in the discriminatory activity. Solomon was represented by Nehemiah S. Glanc and Aaron Richard Golub. Armani and the Armani Corporation were represented by Traycee Klein and Frances Maloney of New York-based Epstein, Becker & Green.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.