In an eye-opening wrongful termination lawsuit against the luxury retailer Moschino, a former employee of its West Hollywood location alleges that her manager pulled out all the stops when it came to showing her racial biases.
The employee, a black woman of Haitian descent, details some startling abuses in her complaint. For example, she was upbraided for having “kinky” hair that was deemed unprofessional, treated with all manner of verbal abuses, referred to as a thief and called “ghetto” by her boss. Her boss even made reference to the employee’s “voodoo,” an apparent slur aimed at her Haitian heritage.
However, the manager wasn’t just focused on discriminating against her employees. She also found time to establish a “protocol” regarding black customers who weren’t celebrities or obviously loaded with cash. She referred to these customers as “Serena” and ordered some employees to follow them around the store while others were ordered to go into the parking lot and snap pictures of the customers’ license plates.
Fed up with what she was enduring and the blatant racism she was observing, the employee contacted the corporate headquarters — twice. She didn’t receive a response — except for a prompt dismissal by her manager after the second call. While firing her, the manager reportedly referred to the contact the employee had made with the corporate office.
This sort of news is a reminder that corporate entities have an obligation to protect employees who reach out to human resources or some other part of the company to report a violation of their rights or other wrongdoings by their immediate supervisors. When those protections aren’t put in place, the employee can be further victimized.
It’s also a reminder that racial discrimination in the workplace is never okay. If you’ve been subjected to humiliating, harassing and discriminatory acts at work due to your race, find out more about your rights and options today.