A former manager at an American Apparel retail store in California filed a lawsuit against his former employer alleging that he was abused and wrongfully terminated.

Michael Bumblis claimed that he was terminated after complaining about American Apparel CEO, Dov Charney, through the company’s internal channels.

Bumblis allegedly began having trouble with Charney in April of this year when the CEO accused Bumblis of working for a rival company at an industry convention. In that conversation Charney was accused with calling Bumblis insulting names based on his race and sexual orientation and asked if he was sleeping with a woman that Dov said Bumblis had been seen with.

A few weeks later Charney allegedly paid a visit to Bumblis’ store, became visibly agitated, and dove at Bumblis , putting his hands on his neck in an attempt to choke him. He also allegedly tried to rub dirt into Bumblis’ face.

American Apparel denied all of the allegations. The company’s lawyer stated that Bumblis was terminated in line with company policy. The company also claims that Bumblis violated the arbitration agreement he had with the company that required him to submit all claims to private arbitration. American Apparel claims that they will bring arbitration action against Bumblis.

California law forbids employers from taking adverse employment action against employees due to an employee’s race, sexual orientation, and a wide range of other attributes. Adverse employment action can range from insulting names such as the allegations in Bumblis’ case, or termination or a reduction in pay or hours. Victims of employment discrimination in California are eligible to reclaim lost wages, future wages, and other damages for emotional harm or medical payments. Attorney’s fees and costs are also available, as well as punitive damages. The cost of bringing these actions can be much less than you might expect, especially considering the potential damages that can be reclaimed.

If you have been terminated by your employer based on discrimination you can take action to vindicate your rights. Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys of the Law Offices of Michael S. Cunningham, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation. Call (951) 213-4786 today. We only take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we charge you nothing unless you receive a settlement or judgment in your favor.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “American Apparel’s Dov Charney accused of choking, insulting employee,” Shan Li, Dec. 5, 2012.

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