A former employee of Versace has sued the company for wrongful termination, harassment and racial discrimination, claiming that the company used code words to alert staff when there was an African-American customer in the store.
23-year-old Christopher Sampino was working at a Versace store in San Francisco, when his training manager told him to casually say “D410” in case an African-American person entered the store. This code was commonly used among Versace co-workers to alert each other of black shoppers.
Actually, the high-end retailer uses the color code D410 for black shirts.
When Sampino realized this incident of racial discrimination, he reacted by saying: “You know that I’m African American?”
The manager seemed “surprised” by Sampino’s response, the complaint stated.
The former Versace employee also claimed that he was unlawfully fired just two weeks after this incident. During his short time at the store, he was refused permission to take rest breaks and was not properly trained.
The training manager reportedly justified his decision to terminate Sampino’s employment because of the employee’s lack of familiarity with the “luxury life”.
Complainant Sampino also claimed that he was asked to quit himself to “make the paperwork easier”.
Now, the former employee is suing for unpaid wages and damages.
Versace has denied the allegations and filed a request to dismiss the lawsuit, according to TMZ.