Thomas Horodecki, a 36-year-old Christian, is in the upper ranks of management at Elie Tahari. There he was, going about his Polish Christian way, when he says he noticed that his Israeli lady boss (Tahari's wife) seemed to be favoring fellow lady Israelis that ranked lower than him when promotions came around. But those weren't the least of Horodecki's troubles at work. It's not that his complaints about the alleged discrimination got him nowhere — it's that they got him to New Jersey, where he was sent to manage the in-store Tahari boutiques at the Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's in Hackensack, and the Neiman Marcus in Paramus.
"Mentally, I just started going crazy. I had a breakdown. I was crying to my partner," he said. "Depression set in. I couldn't go to work anymore. I'm presently seeing a psychologist and [I'm] on Zoloft."
The weekly trips to New Jersey weighed heavily on Horodecki.
"Mentally, I was exhausted from everything. It absolutely contributed to my breakdown as time went along," he said.
His two lawyers call the treatment of Horodecki "outrageous" and have filed a $2 million claim on his behalf. Horodecki says his Tahari bosses lied in a staff meeting when they told his colleagues he had been fired shortly after he left in December. But he wasn't fired; he's still employed — just out of the office on disability leave. And well away from, though still probably haunted by, the harrowing "smog" and "pretty bad drivers" on Route 4.