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High-end retailer faces discrimination lawsuit

Missouri readers may be interested in the following account of a discrimination lawsuit that was filed on Nov. 6 against a New York City boutique. The complainant alleges that a female employee endured an ongoing barrage of offensive comments from her supervisor that were based on her national origin and race.

The plaintiff claims that the workplace harassment that she endured hindered her ability to close sales with her customers. The woman, who had worked for the boutique for more than 10 years, was terminated after she allegedly failed to retrieve a dress that had been lent to a celebrity's wife.

The same retailer was the subject of another racial discrimination lawsuit in July of this year. In that suit, a former security guard filed a similar claim that he had been the subject of racially based teasing by multiple sales associates. The allegedly hostile workplace led to the man's hospitalization for treatment of anxiety attacks and depression.

Employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and racial discrimination. A lawsuit for harassment and discrimination can serve several purposes. The first is to obtain justice and financial compensation for employees who have been subjected to discrimination in the workplace. In addition, a lawsuit can raise public awareness of issues of discrimination, racial profiling and harassment which may lead to improved legislation to protect employees. Lastly, a lawsuit can exert pressure on employers to improve workplace conditions for other employees who may be facing similar pressures. An attorney with a background in workplace discrimination cases could provide advocacy for an employee who has experienced workplace harassment.

Source: Huffington Post, "Former Alexander McQueen Store Employee Called 'Burrito Face' Files Discrimination Lawsuit", Julee Wilson, November 12, 2013

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