Zara accused of employment discrimination by former worker

Many people select the places where they shop based on the companies' values. Shoppers in California and elsewhere may have second thoughts about frequenting international clothier Zara after the latest accusations. The clothing chain was recently under fire for carrying t-shirts that were considered anti-Semitic. Recently, one of its former employees accused the company of employment discrimination because he is homosexual and Jewish.

The plaintiff began working for the company in 2007 as general counsel to Zara USA. He alleges that the company's senior executives would use derogatory epithets freely, as well as send emails that contained offensive language. Some of the emails apparently had images of the president and other prominent figures displayed in racist contexts.

According to the complaint, the discrimination became worse when a paralegal revealed that the plaintiff was Jewish. From that point, he noticed a dramatic change in how he was treated, such as having his bonuses dropped and his base pay lowered. Additionally, he claims that his partner received a picture from one of his co-workers that displayed a picture of tattooed genitals. One of his managers purportedly told the plaintiff about the size of his penis and boasted that he was having intimate relations with five women.

The plaintiff stated that he complained multiple times about the harassment and discrimination, but, allegedly, nothing changed. He allegedly lost his job after his attorneys alerted the company that he was filing an employment discrimination claim. Similarly situated California workers who do not receive a prompt resolution may turn to the courts. Based upon evidence of discrimination, a court may award claimants monetary damages for what they have endured, as well as any other financial relief that is deemed just.

Source: New York Daily News, "Former lawyer for Zara accuses clothing chain's executives of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia in discrimination suit", Barbara Ross, June 3, 2015

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