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Sterling Employment Law

Race discrimination claim against boutique fashion shop

Michigan fashion fans may have heard about the allegations of racist and offensive treatment made against a trendy New York City clothing store. A former salesperson for the British fashion outlet Alexander McQueen has filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit, saying that she was called such epithets as "burrito face" and "taco smoke" in derogatory reference to her Hispanic heritage. Specifically, the civil suit alleges that the 43-year-old woman's boss pummeled her with what she called a persistent and offensive barrage of comments based against her national origin and race.

The employee provided an example of her workplace superior's comments, saying that he told her that she had greasy hands like a Mexican and didn't want any of the store's product to get messy because of her. She claims that she was also accused, falsely, of using cocaine and stealing at work. Alexander McQueen representatives said in an email to a media outlet that they take all allegations of this nature seriously and they would investigate the claims; however, they did not comment on any individual cases.

The employee's lawsuit wasn't the first legal action on racial discrimination the high-end store faced in 2013. In July, an African-born security guard filed suit against Alexander McQueen, alleging that various sales clerks subjected him to racially insensitive taunting at work. His lawsuit claimed that this hostile work environment led to anxiety attacks and his ultimate hospitalization for depression. He also maintained that black customers were subject to racial profiling.

No matter where a person works, employment discrimination is against the law. Individuals who feel that their employee rights have been violated may find relief by taking the offending employer to court.

Source: Huffington Post, "Former Alexander McQueen Store Employee Called 'Burrito Face' Files Discrimination Lawsuit", November 12, 2013

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