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Versace accused of workplace racial discrimination

by | Jan 6, 2017 | Discrimination

Versace, who has a reputation for producing clothing for Hollywood’s best and those with funds to afford the finest, is now fighting allegations of discrimination that could tarnish its reputation.

What are the allegations of discrimination?

The allegations go back to the fall of 2015. During that time, a young man, who was one-quarter African American, was hired to work at a Versace store in California. While training, the employee was allegedly informed by a training manager that he should casually use the term “D410” when an African American customer enters the premises.

The term “D410” is one used in the fashion industry to label black clothing. Use of the term in this manner, according to the employee, was intended to notify all the workers that a black person was shopping in the store.

The employee asked the training manager if he knew the employee was African American, and the employee states that the manager seemed surprised by this information. As reported by Reuters, the employee alleges that after this encounter, he began to experience discrimination. The employee stated that his training “no longer seemed legitimate” and that he was not provided with training regarding rest breaks or information needed to log on to the account to print off paystubs.

Within two weeks of being hired, the employee was terminated for his alleged failure to “know the luxury life” and because he did not live “the luxury life.” The employee contends that these statements demonstrate that his termination was actually the result of racial discrimination rather than a legitimate basis for terminating the employee, such as poor job performance.

Is this type of treatment legal? Making hiring, firing, promotion or other employment decisions based solely on one’s race is illegal. This is generally true at both the federal and state levels.

What ramifications can an employer face for discriminating against an employee? Those who are the victims of workplace discrimination can hold their employer and any individual offender responsible for their actions. This can come in the form of mandatory training, changes to workplace policies, and money damages, to name a few.

What can I do if I feel that I am the victim of discrimination at work? The process to file a complaint can vary by state, but the New York Attorney General notes that it is wise to follow the employer’s internal complaint process when an employee believes that he or she is the victim of workplace discrimination. It is also a good idea to keep records of the incident and make a copy of any complaint filed with the employer. However, your first step should be to contact a workplace discrimination lawyer, who can provide additional assistance by reviewing the details of your case, advising you about your options, and helping to advocate for your rights, which can ensure a more favorable outcome.

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