Okay so this one is a little involved, so bear with us as we unpack the situation for you ….
The suit is being filed by Josephine Robinson who is described in the case brief as a “dark-skinned West Indian Latina.” She is a former tax lawyer and an NYU law grad who worked at the fashion juggernaut from March 2008 until her termination in November of last year. She is currently suing Gucci for $5 million in a race discrimination case.
The crux of the case is this: Robinson is claiming that Gucci “subjected her to a hostile work environment” in which she was discriminated against for her “gender/sex, national origin, race, and disability and/or perceived disability, as well as her opposition to discriminatory practices.”
In the case Robinson alleges that her superior Stan Sherwood often made racist jokes and comments to and about her, and that she was fired because she reported the harassment. Here are some of the ugly racist claims described in her suit.
She alleges that Sherwood often referred to her as “cheap day labor,” called her a “loose woman” and told interns that he picked her off the street. He also is alleged to have called her a prostitute, according to the suit.
Robinson also alleges that Sherwood complained of receiving unfavorable accommodations at a corporate retreat in Italy, because of her race and frequently referred to her as “black, very very black.”
Robinson also claims that an assistant general counsel for Gucci told her the company “has a high tolerance for racism.” She plans to use emails and taped conversations as evidence.
This is where the case gets interesting because our darling redhead Rihanna gets brought up in the suit. Rihanna worked with Gucci for a Tattoo Heart accessory charity campaign to aid UNICEF, and according to Robinson, her boss told her to “tax the hell out of her” and withhold 30% of the fee she was to receive for starring in the campaign.
A Gucci spokesperson has already made an official comment stating that “Ms. Robinson’s allegations are completely baseless, and the company will defend itself vigorously against this meritless litigation. The company is confident that it will prevail.”
What do you think about this one StyleBlazers – do you think there is some fowl play amiss?
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