What do you worry about when you go shopping?
Do you shop compulsively? Spend too much money? Or are you more worried about budgeting? Can you really afford that gift for a special someone?
But before you even get to browsing and buying, what if you have to worry about how the sales staff treats you in the first place?
While many of us are fortunate enough never to be openly discriminated against, a former employee at a Bay Area Versace store has since turned whistleblower to reveal one of the most deeply upsetting things a store could possibly do: Discriminate against an entire race of customers.
Imagine that, when spending copious amounts of money at a luxury store, you aren’t even treated as a customer, or an individual, or a human being.
D410. That’s the code that employees at the Versace store in Livermore, California, used whenever a black customer entered the store.
Technically the code for black clothing at the store, employees were instructed to hold up a black shirt when using the code amongst each other so that customers wouldn’t pick up on the true meaning of the lingo.
For 23-year-old Christopher Sampino, this active and systemic discrimination against paying customers was incompatible with his employment.
After just two weeks of working at the store, Sampino was fired. After the fact, he went public about the store’s racist policies. But that wasn’t all.
Now, Sampino is filing a lawsuit agains the store. Here’s why.
In the lawsuit filed last November, Sampino claims that he was let go as an extension of the store’s racial profiling: He alleges that he was fired for being biracial.
He furthermore believes that his dismissal was class based, and he claimed that he was discriminated against because he “had not lived the luxury life” expressed by the brand.
Here’s how Versace responded. Keep reading.