Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Versace Sued By Employees

A former employee at a Pleasanton, California Versace store has filed a lawsuit accusing the high-end retailer of discrimination, not only against him, but towards its Black customers. The suit alleges that during his time as a clerk with the company, 23-year-old Christopher Sampiro was not afforded rest periods and was wrongfully terminated without having received payment for time worked. Sampiro also claims the store carried out a policy of having staff alert co-workers when a Black person entered the establishment by passing mention of it through a secret code.

According to Sampiro the experience began soon after he was hired. In the courts documents he claims to have been informed of the "D410 Code" during a new-employee training. Versace employees are naturally aware of the term, D410, as it is the code used for black clothing. But Sampiro says that while mentoring him on policies and procedures, a manager [who he doesn't name in the suit], told him the code was synonymous for Black customers before encouraging Sampiro to casually warn co-workers of a "D410" when a Black person entered the store. In response to the managers suggestion, Sampiro claims to have shared that he was himself in-fact, part African American. From that point on Sampiro says he was treated differently.

Within two weeks of the alleged D410 incident occurring, Sampiro was fired because he didn't "understand luxury," the lawsuit claims. Sampiro objects to the reason for his termination, saying that management refused him legitimate training following the uncomfortable encounter. Versace denies Sampiro's allegations and has requested that the Alameda County Superior Court dismiss the case. The case will be revisited during a March 21 status conference.

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