Chances are, you’ve probably seen the flagrant millennial-pink advertisements for Thinx “period panties” within the past few years. Thinx is a female-run company out of NYC that specializes in ultra-absorbent underwear designed for women during menstruation.
Though the brand prides itself on their “for women by women” feministic persona, it was recently discovered that behind closed doors, the work environment is anything but that.
In fact, the company’s co-founder and self-proclaimed “SHE-EO” Miki Agrawal is currently being sued by former employees for sexual harassment. Yikes.
Co-founder of Thinx “period panties” is being sued for sexual harassment.
Thinx has created a name for themselves in the fashion industry with their ingeniously designed underwear that aims to make your monthly menstrual cycle more comfortable (if that’s possible). Both women and trans men have praised the product for providing them with an infinitely better alternative to pads, tampons, and menstrual cups.
Launched in January of 2014, Thinx has positioned themselves as a feminist company promoting feminist ideals in both the products they offered and their business practices. “We’re dedicated to each other, and to creating positive, conscious, intersectional impact, within our walls and beyond,” a recent message to the community stated.
Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that the work environment is anything but “female empowered.” Thinx co-founder and former CEO Miki Agrawal has been accused of sexual misconduct, hypocrisy, and a general disregard for her employees’ well being.
According to Racked, 10 of the company’s 35 employees have left Thinx since January, and among them was 26-year-old former PR head Chelsea Leibow.
Leibow is the woman who pressed charges against Agrawal for sexual harassment, citing that her former boss seemed to have an “obsession” with her breasts. On several occasions Agrawal would comment on “how Leibow’s breasts looked in various outfits, and touching them, both while the two were alone, and in front of others.”
In addition to this inappropriate behavior, employees complained about being shut down during salary negotiations, not being able to afford birth control, and the company’s miserly maternity leave policy—two weeks at full pay and a week at half pay. Fucking bullshit.
According to The Cut, Agrawal was also accused of fat-shaming employees and often made pointed remarks about her staffers’ weights.
“One of the perks of the office was ice-cream Fridays; Agrawal suggested that the treat ought to be changed to fruit because ice cream was unhealthy, and because employees were too heavy, said multiple former staffers.”
All of these issues were further exacerbated by the fact that Thinx did not implement an HR department until last spring when Agrawal appointed two women with zero experience.
According to Racked, the two HR representatives simply served as sounding boards for venting employees who did not want to risk their jobs by taking their complaints about Argawal to the COO, and weren’t a suitable substitute for a functional HR department. (Because when she managed a company full of employees, HR just wasn’t a priority!?)
Agrawal insisted these accusations were “baseless” and with “absolutely no merit.”
The founder published a Medium article following her resignation earlier this month responding to the claims made against her. To no surprise, Agrawal took little to no responsibility for her actions. However she did admit that she may “not be the best suited for the operational CEO duties” and that she hopes to “potentially step into a new role and handle front facing duties.”
Let’s hope not.
A Thinx spokesperson also replied to a list of allegations from Leibow’s filing with this statement:
“We take matters related to our company culture very seriously. THINX has not been served with a legal complaint or charge from any agency related to Ms. Leibow’s allegations. When the issues were brought to our attention following her departure from THINX, the company commissioned an investigation that concluded the allegations had no legal merit. The company cannot comment further on these legal matters.”
Of course, they can’t.
The accusations can be seen in full detail HERE.