Williamsburg, the Meatpacking District of Brooklyn, now has its very own club-related sexual harassment lawsuit—a handful of employees at nightclub Verboten on North 11th Street are suing their employers, alleging that owner Jen Schiffer, her husband, and her boyfriend (yep) openly discussed their sex lives, barraged employees with sexual advances and, in one non-sex related instance, Schiffer told employees they "cannot book a Black people party" at the club.
According to a lawsuit filed by fourteen employees in Eastern District Court, Schiffer and husband John Perez "run Verboten with a complete disregard for the law and have committed a staggering number of unlawful acts against their employees." Schiffer is accused of "regularly and openly" discussing her sex life and preferred sexual positions, telling one employee that she wanted to start "fucking men with strap on dildos more often" and repeatedly told her employees about her sexual conquests with female customers at the club.
Schiffer's boyfriend, employee Dylan Schwartz, 24, allegedly sexually harassed employees as well, telling them things like, "I am a master at eating pussy," "My dick can stay hard for a long time," and "Are you having a bad day? You should let me fuck you." He also allegedly smacked one female employee on the buttocks. Schiffer did not stop Schwartz but "became jealous at the unwanted attention Mr. Schwartz paid to them, blamed the women who were being harassed and retaliated against them," according to the suit.
“She said ‘I know, I know, I’m trying my best to keep a lid on that,’” employee Steven Suchowieski told the Daily News. “Instead, she then targeted those employees, those girls. She basically was jealous of them.”
Schiffer is also accused of withholding wages and tips from employees, stealing employee tips that were kept in a safe at the nightclub, and filling premium liquor bottles with well liquor while charging customers high prices for drinks.
Then, there's the alleged discrimination—according to the suit, when employee Darrin Morda booked a private event with a number of black people in attendance, Schiffer became enraged, telling Morda, "What are all the Black people doing here? You cannot book a Black people party!" Schiffer allegedly told Morda they were unable to hold private events for black customers. “(She said) she had promised the police there wouldn’t be black people at this club, and I put the entire club in jeopardy by doing it,” Morda told the News.
Verboten has not responded to request for comment, but Schiffer denied the allegations to the News. "This is disgusting. This is not true,” she told the tabloid. “I’m a woman trying to run a nightclub with her husband. This personal abuse and attack is disgusting."
Earlier this year, Schiffer and Perez were accused of fraud and mismanagement by investors and employees, who allege that the duo concealed revenue and rerouted deposits into their personal accounts, recorded fraudelent expenditures, and failed to pay state taxes, among other infractions.