Revlon’s former chief scientific officer, Alan Meyers, has filed suit against the cosmetics company, alleging that he was fired after raising safety concerns and was discriminated against based on his religion. According to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in the Southern District of New York, Revlon CEO Lorenzo Delpani accused Meyers of raising “ghost” safety problems at recently acquired laboratories, resulting in slower production. Meyers, who joined Revlon in 2010 and was fired this month, also states in his complaint that Delpani was hostile to him, frequently yelling at him in front of other executives and making anti-Semitic comments.
In the lawsuit, which raises claims of discrimination and retaliation, Meyers alleges that he raised concerns in connection with Revlon’s $660 million acquisition of Spanish beauty care company Colomer Group in 2013. He said he was concerned that raw materials used by Colomer did not satisfy regulatory and safety requirements, and that its laboratories did not meet Revlon’s standards. But he said that after repeatedly raising such concerns, Delpani urged him to keep quiet so that the CEO could retain “plausible deniability” about the problems. According to Meyers’ complaint, Delpani also sought to remove from company records a May 2014 email in which Meyers raised quality concerns about a plant in North Carolina.
Meyers further alleges that Delpani treated him differently from other members of the team, nearly all of whom were Spanish or Italian, because he was Jewish and American-born. He claims that Delpani referred to Americans as “small-minded” and “dirty,” and at one meeting said he was surprised at the lack of Jewish executives at Revlon because “Jews stick together.” In making the comments, Delpani mentioned Ronald Perelman, Revlon’s billionaire controlling shareholder who is also Jewish, the lawsuit said.