Alex and Ani Hit With Suit, Company Vigorously Disputes Claims

Tuesday, May 02, 2017


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Federal Court

Rhode Island mega-jewelry company Alex and Ani has been hit with a lawsuit by a former employee who is alleging that he was discriminated against based on gender and religion. 

In a federal lawsuit, Gregory Williams, who served as Director of Retail Operations, claims that he was forced to participate in ceremonies that he says were religious in nature.

The company vigorously disputed the claims, however. In a statement emailed to GoLocalProv on Monday night, the company said, “We are committed to and celebrated for our culture. Unfortunately some rare employees don't understand or appreciate the amazing opportunity they have. That is their loss. The thing about litigation is that it reveals the truth. That will happen in this matter.”

Success Story

Alex and Ani has been a Rhode Island success story that has grown from less than a million dollars annually to a reported $300 million in less than eight years. 

According to Alex and Ani data, the company employs 450 in Rhode Island today and more than 1,500 globally.

The company not only does all of its manufacturing in Rhode Island, but also takes design conception to execution of production exclusively in Rhode Island.

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Other Suits

The suit by Williams is one in a series that have hit the company recently.

As GoLocalProv reported previously, Michael Mota, a former executive at an Alex and Ani subsidiary, is accusing Alex and Ani and top executives, including Carolyn Rafaelian, of everything from manipulation of billing to avoid taxes, intimidation, threats, and taking employees' personal properties.

In an unrelated case, Alex and Ani’s former Acting Chief Operating Officer, David Medeiros, claims that Alex and Ani's Rafaelian and the company were guilty of a range of indiscretions including shareholder fraud, and anti-military rants.

As GoLocal first reported, Mark J. Geragos was tapped by the company as legal counsel. He has represented the late Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Nicole Richie, and singer Chris Brown, and is now serving as counsel for Alex and Ani in the two lawsuits.

The recent series of suits stand in contrast to the company's professed commitment to its employees. Each employee is allotted time off during work hours to volunteer for local charitable organizations. To date, employees have given than 6,500 hours.


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