Former Neiman Marcus employee Amir Peleg settled for an undisclosed amount with the department store after filing a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal. Peleg, aged 59, worked at the fragrance department of the Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus location and was considered a stellar employee, who generated $1 million worth of sales per year. He claims that his supervisor, Iranian born Miryam Emamian, harassed him about his sexual orientation, refused to allow him time off on religious holidays, and when requesting vacation time to travel to Israel, reportedly said, “Why do you want to go to that Jewland where they kill people?” For his success in sales, the company awarded him two bottles of Clive Christian cologne worth $900 each, but Peleg claims Emamian kept one of the bottles for herself. Peleg was fired in 2008. He sued for $4o million in punitive damages and $16 million in compensatory damages for financial loss and emotional distress.
Neiman Marcus attorney Thomas Mackey claimed that Peleg was involved in a scheme to sell expensive skin cream samples to Chinese websites. It was revealed that he gave away 2, 500 samples of Creme de la Mer to one customer over a period of 11 months. The face cream usually sells fr $160 an ounce. Mackey said one customer made a purchase of $16, 000 so Peleg could get a sales commission. Mackey claims the generous customer was part of the skin cream sample racket.
Peleg had signed an arbitration agreement when he was hired at Neiman Marcus, but was given permission to continue his lawsuit by an appellate court who said the agreement could not be enforced.