It has been a tough few weeks for Miki Agrawal, founder of the period underwear line Thinx. After former employees claimed that working with the company was akin to being in an abusive relationship, another ex-employee is coming forward, saying that Agrawal inappropriately touched her amid other transgressions.
Last week, a complaint was filed with the City of New York Commission on Human Rights by Chelsea Leibow. The 26-year-old previously worked as Thinx’s head of public relations. Leibow was terminated last year after making complaints about Agrawal’s behavior.
Speaking with New York Magazine’s Noreen Malone, Leibow said that at first, the company culture seemed “open and honest.” But a month or two after her arrival, Agrawal said that she was “obsessed” with Leibow’s breasts and “helped herself.”
“If you’ve ever been touched without your consent, you know it’s jarring,” said Leibow. Adding insult to injury is that her co-workers and other employees saw what happened, due to Thinx’s co-working space at the Center for Social Innovation.
Leibow said that the incident developed into a pattern, with Agrawal regularly commenting on Leibow’s breasts and touching them, both while they were alone and in front of others. In her filing, Leibow said that the Thinx founder also “molested at least one other female employee’s breasts.”
The former Thinx employee said that she doesn’t think that her boss was coming on to her, but felt that Agrawal did objectify her body by making detailed comments about her breasts.
“It seemed like a way for Miki to assert her dominance over female employees by simply doing whatever she wanted to do without asking, and showing she could get away with it,” said Leibow.
In addition to the inappropriate touching, it was also claimed that Agrawal would routinely change clothes in front of her employees, conduct meetings via video conference while unclothed, and that she would also do so while using the toilet.
These shocking allegations come after other former Thinx employees blasted the company founder for creating a toxic work environment and for paying them below industry standards, as previously reported by Jobs & Hire. Some workers even took to Glassdoor to post scathing reviews about the company, saying that Thinx was a “dumpster fire” and that Agrawal is “a time bomb and a liability.”
According to NYMag, Agrawal denies that she inappropriately touched Leibow. As for the earlier allegations, the former Thinx CEO said in a Medium blog post they have asked a law firm to look into all the claims.
“The company commissioned a third party employment firm to conduct extensive diligence on each allegation and they all came back false and without merit,” she said.