A former employee of PureBeauty, Inc. filed a retaliation and sexual harassment lawsuit against the beauty supply retail and salon services chain with locations throughout the U.S. The suit also names the company’s former Vice President of Sales, Brian Pearce, and celebrity hair stylist, Adam Shuman. The Los Angeles Superior Court assigned the lawsuit case number BC343315.
Stacey Stout – PureBeauty’s former manager of the company’s Southern California region – alleges that she and another female employee were sexually harassed by Mr. Shuman. PureBeauty markets and sells a product designed and manufactured by Mr. Shuman – the “Superstar” flatiron – used for straightening hair. In order to promote the product, PureBeauty arranged for Mr. Shuman to conduct product demonstrations at several of the stores in the region managed by Ms. Stout.
The complaint alleges that Shuman, during the promotional events, sexually harassed Ms. Stout and another female employee. Among other things, Ms. Stout alleges that Shuman made incessant sexual comments about sado-masochism, oral sex, and his sexual escapades at the Playboy Mansion. She also alleges that Shuman grabbed her and forcibly kissed her. The complaint also alleges that Shuman pressured one of Ms. Stout’s female subordinates to have sex with him.
Ms. Stout alleges that she complained to several high-level executives, but that no action was taken against Shuman. Instead, she alleges that the company retaliated against her and terminated her employment because she had complained. Prior to the complaints, Ms. Stout was the top performing district manager at the company. Immediately after the complaints, however, Ms. Stout alleges that the company began secretly attempting to solicit negative information about her from her subordinates. She was terminated a few months later.
Commenting about these allegations, Ms. Stout’s attorney, Gregory D. Helmer of Helmer • Friedman, LLP, said, “When an employee encounters unlawful activity at work, she must be allowed to bring those matters to the attention of her employer without fearing retaliation. We should be encouraging, not dissuading, the reporting of unlawful conduct.”
Based in Encino, PureBeauty has stores throughout California, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, New York and other locations.
For additional information or a PDF copy of Ms. Stout’s Complaint, contact:
Gregory D. Helmer
Helmer • Friedman, LLP