The perfume may cost a fortune, but the owner is a racist.So claim two former female employees at a retail shop who have claimed in a federal lawsuit that the owner is a racist who called all African-Americans thieves and used a code word to alert security when black or Hispanic customers came into the store. The phone is ringing, was the signal for an unwelcome customer,and shouted out by the owner when a person of color entered the store, according to the lawsuit.The two female plaintiffs are seeking $2 million in damages in the suit claiming the owner of violating their civil rights and firing them for complaining about her racism against customers and employees.As an experienced Baltimore Attorney I have reviewed many cases of workplace discrimination and have completed same with favorable results.
The plaintiff who is Hispanic also claims her boss wouldn’t let her serve white customers because her skin was too dark.The last ten months were torture and she was afraid to speak to a black customer. The plaintiff said she was forced to keep quiet about her black boyfriend and told him to hide when he came to pick her up so the boss wouldn’t see him.The last straw was when the boss accused her of being friends with a black customer who was caught shoplifting in another store location.She said when she and the other plaintiff finally complained about the racism their boss fired them and accused them of stealing $20,000 worth of merchandise.They deny stealing anything. The defendant insists she’s not a racist and blamed the suit on disgruntled employees who got caught looting her store. She said mostly all of her workers are from minority groups, and says that she welcomes black customers.She admitted they do use the verbal code to protect her employees when somebody suspicious enters the stores. But insists it’s not aimed only at black customers,but she did comment that each time her stores were robbed they were all African American.The defendant who said she is of a Lebanese background and claims to have had a black boyfriend in the past. The women’s discrimination complaint with the state Division on Human Rights was dismissed for administrative reasons barring pending complaint and a lawsuit at the same time.The defendant is a veteran of the fashion industry and learned the trade working for a major designer. She rose to become the company’s director of international training and has 2 stores.If you or a loved one has been the victim of workplace discrimination please contact me or visit one of my offices in either Rockville or Baltimore today.