FASHION LAW: PREGNANT ASSOCIATE LOSES DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST CHANEL
A previous sales assistant of Chanel was confronted with an ill-mannered question during what should be claimed as one of the happiest times of her life by her supervisor. The question under interrogation is “Are you keeping the baby?” Ilena Cappello claimed she was asked the question from her manager after she had nursed her nausea and vomiting during a weekend job at a Parfums Chanel concession in a large Dublin department store. Cappello recalled her conversation with her manager, Linda Cooper as being uncomfortable and judged.
The discussion revolved around statements such as “Do you want to work for Chanel?” and “Are you going to keep the baby?” – stressing the word keep more than once. Her unplanned pregnancy should have been a note of future happiness, but Cappello felt strained by the conversation and later took the case to the Quality Tribunal. She appealed to the Labour Court in 2011.
In the end, Parfum Chanel won the discrimination case in question. It also helped that the pair agreed on having a “good working and personal relationship” outside of the four walls of Chanel. Cooper was simply inquiring as a concerned friend, therefore reflecting the complexity of the situation. The Labour Court ultimately ruled the case in Chanel’s favor as it did not adversely impact Cappello’s employment with the French fashion house. Capello also claims of discrimination under the grounds of gender, marital status, and family status. Cappello officially resigned with Chanel in March earlier this year.