For the third time in two years, high-end retailer Alexander McQueen and its parent company, Kering, find themselves in court facing discrimination allegations. According to the suit, retail employees allege a hostile workplace citing racial discrimination, racial harassment, retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
This comes following previous racial allegations in July of 2013 from an African-American security guard who was subjected to racist taunts and had to seek help for anxiety and depression. Likewise, in November 2013, a Hispanic saleswoman filed a lawsuit, alleging that she was subjected to racial slurs.
The suit also claims that the company treats African-American people differently than others because it turns them down for customer-facing positions, like sales jobs. Moreover, it states that the company does not allow African-American employees to rise into management roles. A representative from Alexander McQueen noted the company's concern about the allegations but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing litigation.
It remains to be seen how this suit will play out in court, but undoubtedly it is a case that will be in the news. Unfortunately, even in today's day and age, race discrimination is not uncommon. There are both federal and New York state laws in place to prevent workplace discrimination and protect employees against all forms of discrimination. It is important to note that discrimination can take many forms, and without victims reaching out to file a claim against an employer, many discrimination cases may never be acknowledged or properly resolved.
Source: Refinery 29, "Alexander McQueen Faces Racial Discrimination Lawsuit (Again)." Ana Colon & Alexandra Ilyashov, Dec. 15, 2015