Bulgari Sued for Discriminating Against Bulgarian Woman in NYC

Bulgari Corporation of America is being sued by a long-time employee for what she claims was mistreatment she received because of her age, gender, anxiety, depression, and that she was not native-born.

Mimosa Todora was born in 1956 in Bulgaria and was hired by Bulgari in 2001, according to the complaint. She began as a credit risk analyst, receiving $15.00 an hour, was promoted to retail accountant for $25.00 an hour, then became a senior accountant.

Todora claims she received positive performance reviews from 2001 until 2015. Bulgari “characterized her as detail oriented, thorough, proactive, determined, committed to accepting additional responsibility, responsible, and highly reliable,” the complaint states.

In August 2015 Bulgari hired Ryan Crowley as chief financial officer. Todora claims that Crowley immediately began treating her less favorably than other “American employees under the age of 40 who did not suffer from disabilities.” Todora says she was the oldest employee of the accounting department.

In November 2015 Todora claims she was disciplined for making direct contact with the IT manager; Crowley said she was prohibited from doing so but Todora was never informed of this policy before.

In December 2015 another employee told Todora that Crowley “did not like her because of her accent” and that she could be “fired for any reason regardless of her work experience or knowledge.”

In May 2016 a younger coworker with significantly less experience than Todora became her supervisor, according to the complaint. Thereafter Todora claims her workload increased significantly and when she requested a meeting to discuss the issue was called cranky and negative and told that she shouldn’t waste time talking about it but working instead.

Todora claims Bulgari denied her multiple vacation requests, saying that the time was “‘never right,’ despite approving other employees’ vacation requests.”

In February 2017 Todora claims she experienced anxiety because of her increased workload and Bulgari’s toxic environment. She saw a doctor who suggested she take some time off and provided a note suggesting a four day leave.

A doctor suggested, in June 2017, that Bulgari grant Todora long-term disability due to the severe anxiety she was suffering at work. Todora claims Bulgari refused to consider the leave, but on July 5 sent her a letter specifying what additional information was need to properly consider her request, giving her until July 12 to provide it.

Todora’s doctor provided the additional information on July 7, 2017, but on July 13, Bulgari “simultaneously denied [her] long-term disability request and terminated her employment. [Bulgari] terminated her employment specifically due to her request for a leave of absence . . . . and retroactively set [her] termination date for July 10, 2017,” the complaint states.

In the complaint, Todora claims that she was “harassed, discriminated and retaliated against . . . in employment opportunities, disciplinary action and in the terms, conditions, and privileges of her employment on account of her age, gender, national origin, and medical disability.”

Todora is represented by Dinora Smith of New York City who filed the case in the Southern District of New York.

 Image Source: Phillip Pessar (Flickr)