HONOLULU, May 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- William Estill, former CEO of Hawaii-based retailer Jeans Warehouse Inc., has filed a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against his former employer based on claims that he was subjected to anti-gay comments and other hostile acts by company officials.
The 65-year-old Mr. Estill, who is openly gay, was dismissed by Jeans Warehouse shortly before the 2014 holiday sales season, a period that traditionally accounts for the majority of the company's yearly profits. He was told he was fired for performance reasons despite the company posting record-breaking sales and profits during 2012 and 2013. While the company was enjoying back-to-back record years, Mr. Estill also performed the role of the company's chief operating officer for Cindy Mikami, who took time off to care for her ailing husband.
"Despite weak market conditions and unexpected demands, Mr. Estill guided Jeans Warehouse to steady growth as CEO and acting COO," says Dallas attorney Rogge Dunn of Clouse Dunn LLP, who represents Mr. Estill along with attorneys from Honolulu's Law Office of Eric A. Seitz. "Coming off a record year, the only reason a company would replace its CEO is if the decision is based on something other than actual performance."
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Estill was subjected to anti-gay comments and hostility from Jeans Warehouse board member Linda Holt and Ms. Mikami during the four-and-a-half years he worked for the company. Shortly before his dismissal, he formally complained about their behavior.
"He expected the company to take his concerns seriously," says Mr. Dunn. "But instead, he was subjected to continued ridicule and insults of a personal nature that culminated with his obviously illegal dismissal."
The lawsuit includes claims of discrimination and disparate treatment, retaliatory termination and both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Mr. Estill is seeking a jury trial. The case is William Estill vs. Jeans Warehouse, Inc.; John and/or Jane Does 1-25., No. 16-1-0874-05 (VLC).
Mr. Dunn regularly represents executives in complex business and employment disputes. To learn more about Mr. Dunn and his practice, click here: http://www.cdklawyers.com/rogge_dunn.html.
For more information on the lawsuit against Jeans Warehouse, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SOURCE Clouse Dunn LLP