Fashion Law: Louis Vuitton Slapped with Racial Discrimination and Harassment Suit
In the height of all the major fashion companies under scrutiny, Louis Vuitton has just thrown itself into another racial discrimination lawsuit. A sales associate, by the name of Oliver Koffi has filed suit against the luxury brand’s store in London’s Selfridge’s. The statement under fire came from a senior level employee communicating to an African employee, “Black people are salves who eat dirt off the floor.” Several other disrespectful remarks were made by the supervisor, such as, Barack Obama is a “muppet” and that “America would be better off with ‘Miss Piggy’ as its president because Muslim people don’t eat pork.” The former senior employee also insulted the Louis Vuitton brand by quoting the luxury company’s products as “sh*t” because they were made in China.
Ill-mannered and derogatory, many of these comments left quite the sour taste on the noted fashion house. The trial will ensue in the Central London Employment court on July 18th, mulling over details of various racial incidents since last year December, including the exchange between Koffi and this former .
Koffi argues that due to his supervisor’s unrelenting behavior, it created a ‘hostile and intimidating’ working environment. Koffi agrues that the last comment ultimately off the suit, as it was grossly offensive and extremely humiliating. When the supervisor was confronted about the accusation, he claimed it was merely a joke that was taken too far, however since then he has vacated the position followed by a disciplinary proceeding. A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton clarifies that the company has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind and that the reported statement is in total violation of the Louis Vuitton Ethical carter.
This isn’t the first in the heap of fashion houses facing racial discrimination lawsuits, Tiffany & Co. was recently charged, along with Barney’s, Macy’s and Alexander McQueen in the last year. This case just adds to the growing list of luxury brands battling allegations of racism. It astonishes FashionBoss, how such derogatory terms can even come into play in a work environment? Whether this was simply a playful banter or not, when will people learn.