Alexander McQueen, Kering Sued for Racial Discrimination ... Again

Alexander McQueen has been hit with a racial discrimination lawsuit, roughly two years after two separate New York employee accused the design house of similar claims. This time, Christopher Policard and Duane Davis, an inventory supervisor and an inventory clerk, respectively, filed suit against Alexander McQueen Trading America Inc., and its parent company Kering Americas Inc., among others, in New York state court, alleging that its practice of discrimination has resulted in harassment and created a hostile work environment. In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Alexander McQueen has “engaged in systematic racism against Kering’s African-American employees” and a systematic rejection of “African-American job applicants who seek positions on the sales floor where they can be seen by customers or positions where they might have authority over the white employees, relegating the few African-Americans who are hired to menial positions behind the scenes.”

Policard and Davis, who are both still employed by the British design house known for designing Kate Middleton's wedding gown, further allege that they are seen by customers is when “Kering searches them for theft in front of other employees and customers, which is done on the floor during business hours. White employees, on the other hand, are screened for theft after closing and in private.” The plaintiffs allege that after they filed a complaint seeking corrective action, the defendants embarked on a course of retaliation that included being left out of important company meetings, spoken to disrespectfully and being denied vacation time.

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment stating that the defendants’ practices are, in fact, in violation of New York Human Rights Law, as well as an array of damages, including those for the “emotional distress” they have experienced as a result of the defendants’ actions. They also want the court to order that McQueen and Kering, as well as the individual managers listed as defendants, be barred from implementing or enforcing any policy or practices that denies any employee from fully enjoying the benefits and promotional opportunities within the company.