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Elite fashion house Versace may be headed to court amid racial discrimination claims from a former employee.
According to TMZ, an unnamed Black male who previously worked for one of company’s Bay Area locations says his former co-workers created a “code” word to discreetly let each other know when African-American customers were in the store.
In a lawsuit filed by the former employee, he says a store manager informed him of the store code, “D410,” which he alleges was used when staff wanted to spread the word that a Black person was in the store without customers becoming suspicious. The ex-employee says the manager was shocked when he replied, “You know that I’m African-American?”
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Following the awkward encounter with the manager, the former employee says he became subjected to consistent discriminatory treatment, including supervisors refusing to allow him to take restroom breaks. The man says he was fired just two weeks later.
The former employee is suing for unpaid wages and damages. Versace has reportedly issued a response to the suit, in which they denied any truth to the claims and requested the lawsuit be dismissed.