Merona Clothing was the first clothing brand to join the ranks of the list of sexual harassment plaintiffs suing Apple and other tech companies for their alleged conduct, with the lawsuit filed this week in New York state court.
According to the suit, Merona, a maker of feminine hygiene products, “violated its obligations to its employees by failing to take prompt steps to address complaints of sexual misconduct by a senior employee.”
It is the latest lawsuit from the tech industry over alleged mistreatment of female workers, which has come under increased scrutiny after reports of sexual abuse by prominent men.
Apple and other major tech companies have been hit with more than 100 lawsuits since the beginning of the year, accusing them of ignoring or retaliating against allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
The companies have largely maintained that the allegations are false, or at least overblown.
But some are questioning the fairness of the companies’ actions.
The Merona suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court on Wednesday, alleges that Merona failed to act swiftly after the former employee complained about Merona’s alleged sexual misconduct, “deliberately” avoiding doing so, and “failing to act to stop the conduct” that led to the alleged assault.
The complaint claims that Meronas “management knew or should have known that the former Merona employee was a credible source of information” about sexual harassment and discrimination at Merona.
The lawsuit also alleges that the company failed to “conduct any due diligence or seek any corroboration of the former Employee’s allegations.”
It also claims that “the former Meronaser was never told of the alleged sexual conduct or that Merons own internal investigations had concluded that the allegation was false or that there was no basis for the allegation.”
The suit also names the former chief executive of Merona and four of his top executives, alleging that they failed to protect Merona employees from the alleged conduct of the company.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.