RDG Global, LLC, and CEO Richard Gossett Fight Back Against “Baseless” Allegations by Former Executive
In an Answer filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, RDG Global, LLC (“RDG Global” or “RDG”), and its Chief Executive Officer, Richard Gossett, adamantly deny the allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation lodged by former employee, Janine Donen, and state that it was Donen who engaged in “persistent mistreatment of colleagues and co-workers.” According to the Answer, Donen’s misdeeds included “publicly berating subordinates on a daily basis,” “publicly threatening to terminate employees for allegedly failing to follow her unclear and often contradictory directives,” and, on one occasion, telling an employee during a meeting, “I should pee on you so people know you’re mine.” The Answer to the Complaint can be found here in its entirety.
In their responsive pleading, RDG Global and Gossett also refute Donen’s characterization of the Company as a “boys’ club,” noting, among other things, that RDG’s employees are approximately 90% female, including its President, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales, and Director of Human Resources. Throughout the Answer, RDG Global and Gossett repeatedly deny that Donen was ever subject to any gender-based harassment or discrimination, and note that, despite her assertions, she never once complained of such harassment during her employment with the Company.
According to the Answer, while Donen never complained of harassment or discrimination during her tenure with the Company, numerous RDG employees lodged complaints against Donen because of her abusive and belittling treatment. In their Answer, RDG Global and Gossett state that they made a number of attempts to counsel Donen and correct her behavior, however “[Donen] quickly would revert to her old habits and the mistreatment and abuse perpetrated by [Donen] would persist.” According to the Answer, at least five employees elected to resign rather than continue working with Donen. The Answer further states that Donen was responsible for the terminations of several employees, including one who had referred to Donen as “the devil.”
In addition to discussing Donen’s mistreatment of employees, the Answer states that Donen regularly refused to comply with established policies and procedures, and insisted on exercising complete control over her contemporary division. Ultimately, according to the Answer, Donen unilaterally made the decision to commence production in factories that had not been properly vetted by the client. Donen’s persistent mistreatment of colleagues and co-workers, as well as her unilateral decision to commence production in factories that had not been properly vetted, were the sole reasons for her termination, according to the Answer.
RDG Global has issued the following statement regarding the pending litigation: “We are extremely disappointed by Ms. Donen’s decision to file a baseless lawsuit and take her meritless case into the public arena as a smear campaign. While Ms. Donen would like the public to believe that she was a victim of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, nothing could be further from the truth, and her self-serving attempt to manipulate the #MeToo movement for her own selfish purposes is an insult to the many real victims out there who are finally finding the strength to come forward. We have faith in the judicial system and look forward to being fully vindicated after our day in court.”