Barnes & Noble Inc. was sued on Tuesday by a former chief executive officer who said the largest U.S. bookstore chain falsely accused him of violating its sexual harassment policy before firing him after 14 months on the job.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Demos Parneros accused Barnes & Noble of breach of contract and defamation over his sudden July 3 termination without severance.
Parneros accused Leonardo Riggio, whose founder, Barnes & Noble, who had more than 19 percent, to be out of business after he opened fire when an unnamed bookstore reclaimed a takeover bid for a New York-based company in early June.
In addition, according to Barnes & Noble’s comic book, Parneros accused Chief Financial Director Allen Lindstrom of being “badly performing” in business matters. Lindstrom and two other people now share the role of CEO.
Lindstrom was not immediately available for comment.
In a statement, Barnes & Noble’s board of directors declared Parneros’ case an attempt to withdraw money from the company by a CEO who was terminated because of sexual abuse, bullying behaviors, and other violations of company policies.
The Assembly said that Riggio “supports the highest standards of honesty and integrity” and said Parneros’ claims “full of lies and misidentifications”.
Parneros said he did not violate company policies and “always run him professionally”.
More than 4 million seniority indemnities and other compensatory and punitive damages. Parneros lawyer Debra Raskin refused to give detailed information about the complaint.
Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com Inc. and other competitors are struggling with years of declining sales and pedestrian traffic because of their business capture.
Parneros joined Staples Inc. in 2016 as chief operating officer 28 years later and six months later, he succeeded Riggio as CEO.
According to the comic, Riggio was “extremely upset” when the takeover bid fell and believed it was a “graceful exit” from the company.
Parneros made a mistake, even though the complaint kept saying that Riggio had stopped translating the phone calls and texts of Parneros, while continuing to meet other executives.
However, Parneros said Riggio had told her on July 2 that she “took off her job on grounds that she violated her sexual harassment policy and showed her involvement with an administrative assistant and that Allen Lindstrom was ill-treated.”
Barnes & Noble’s comment on the termination of Parneros was for “breach of company policies” and that there was no disagreement over financial practices.
The complaint was that Barnes & Noble’s “lousy statements caused serious injuries in Parneros”.
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