Seiniger Gets Sued




L.A. Exec Accused of Harassment, Racism
LOS ANGELES – Seiniger Advertising and its president and chief executive officer Tony Seiniger are accused of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation in a civil lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The suit, filed by Seiniger’s former executive assistant, Rachael Witenstein, alleges that during her employment between August 1997 and August 1998, Seiniger “caressed and touched her on numerous occasions, including squeezing her waist, holding both her hands, pulling her closer to him, standing uncomfortably close to her and resting his hands on her hips.”
The suit also claims that Seiniger “would stare and focus on her breasts,” and “sometimes his hands grazed the sides of her breasts.”
The suit goes on to claim that Seiniger “grabbed female employees’ backsides,” “told crude jokes,” “described his bowel movements,” and “made racist remarks about African Americans and Hispanics and about the religious affiliation of other Seiniger employees.”
“This is another case of people in authority harassing women due to their position of power,” said Witenstein’s attorney, Phillip Edward Kay. “This is traumatizing and not something [Witenstein’s] going to get over.”
Seiniger referred calls to his attorney, the Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Robert Shapiro (who helped defend O.J. Simpson). He did not return calls by press time.
The case also claims that Witenstein was fired after taking her complaints about Seiniger’s behavior to senior company officials. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified economic compensation for emotional distress in addition to punitive damages.
Witenstein is represented by attorney John Dalton in San Diego, as well as Kay in San Francisco.
The Beverly Hills agency billed more than $133 million in 1998. The agency has created work for such clients as HBO, Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal.