Lobna Abdelrehim sues ‘animal house’ publishing company, GDS International, for sexual harrassment NY Daily News
BY JOSE MARTINEZ DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Tuesday, November 24th 2009, 6:02 PM
A shapely 26-year-old stunner is suing her employer for sex discrimination, portraying the publishing firm as a “Mad Men”-era artifact that’s overheated by a “jock fraternity culture.”
Lobna Abdelrehim, a manager at GDS International, paints her coworkers as hard-drinking horndogs who asked if she has breast implants, equated salesmanship with swordsmanship and passed around emails about beddable moms known as MILFs.
“It’s just a regular sort of animal house circus,” said lawyer Jack Tuckner of Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser. Abdelrehim, a manager for the UK-based company, contends she was frozen out for complaining about X-rated office antics that included meetings where “stop being a f—— p—-” and “close the deal, you c—!” were salesmen rallying cries.
Abdelrehim, who joined GDS in September 2007, said her troubles started at last year’s office Christmas party, when she was one of two women awarded the dubious “most allergic to conservative clothing” crown. Another prize went to the staff’s “best-dressed man.”
A Muslim, Abdelrehim said the office was rife with anti-Islam discrimination.
“She’s beautiful and she’s modern, but she’s dressed in very professional attire,” Tuckner said. ?”She certainly doesn’t cover it up, but she’s not wearing a burka.”
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says the firm “promotes and celebrates a culture of alcoholic beverage drinking,” teaches female workers that sex sells on “the Boulevard to Bombshell Bitchiness” and invited staffers to a charity chest waxing.
“The invitation indicated that one female employee was ‘frothing at the mouth’ in anticipation of personally waxing one of the ‘very hairy’ manager participants,” the suit says.
A spokesman for GDS International, whose publications include Food Safety US and Next Generation Agriculture, declined to comment on the suit.
Abdelrehim was still employed at the firm as of Tuesday, but Tuckner said her career prospects at GDS are bleak. “They have told her she’s pretty much doomed,” he said.