A Versace retail outlet in the Bay Area is being sued by a former employee who was fired, he says, after just two weeks. What's more, he says he was discriminated against for his race, and that part of his training at the store was to alert fellow employees to the presence of a black person in the store by way of a code word.
TMZ had the story of the lawsuit, and says that the Versace company has denied all allegations in the suit and filed a motion for dismissal.
While there is one Versace store at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara, the store in question here is a Versace outlet in Livermore.
The 23-year-old employee, identified by Metro UK and in the case filing as Christopher Sampino, says that he was told when he started working at the store to use the code "D410" for black person, and this code also happens to be the one used for all black shirts in the store. The manager then said he could hold up a black shirt when using the code so that the customers would not know what he was talking about. He says he informed his manager, after being taught this, that he was in fact African American, which the manager did not know. The lawsuit states that Sampino is one quarter African American.
He then claims he was denied proper training after this revelation, not given logins necessary to retrieve pay stubs or proper rest breaks, and when he was fired two weeks later he was told it was because he didn't "understand luxury" and hadn't "lived the luxury life." He's now suing for damages as well as unpaid wages.
The lawsuit is confusing, however, because it also contains language relating to a class action being initiated with regard to meal breaks and rest breaks not being given, and 15 minutes of required "off-the-clock" work time in which employees' bags were checked after clocking out of work.
Sampino is being represented by SF-based Hoffman Employment Lawyers.