A former employee of luxury mattress manufacturer Hästens filed a lawsuit against the company on Wednesday, alleging its CEO fostered a “deeply misogynistic and sexist work culture” and pushed his bizarre spiritual beliefs on staff, including mandatory hypnotherapy.
In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Lizandra Vega claims that after joining the company in January 2020 as an executive recruiter she endured sexual harassment, wage disparity, and a “vile and disturbing” work culture driven by CEO Jan Ryde. When she spoke out, Vega said she was met with “immediate retaliation and her subsequent termination” on Jan. 7.
Her suit, which lists Hästens and Ryde as defendants, asks for a jury trial and “an award of punitive damages.”
“Hästens’ policing of its employees’ spiritual beliefs is a brazen abuse of corporate power that falls far outside the bounds of lawful employment practices. Forcing employees to undergo spiritual coaching, assessments by a ‘clairvoyant hypnotist’ on payroll, psychological manipulation—these are not the hallmarks of a safe or lawful work environment,” Jeanne M. Christensen, Vega’s lawyer, said in a statement.