07/01/2014 11:52 am ET Updated Jul 01, 2014

Louis Vuitton Accused Of Racism, Slapped With Racial Discrimination & Harassment Lawsuit

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Another major fashion company is being sued for racial discrimination. This time around its Louis Vuitton that has been slapped with a lawsuit alleging racism filed by a sales associate, Oliver Koffi, at the luxury brand's store in London's Selfridge's.

The Mirror reports that Koffi is suing Louis Vuitton for racial discrimination and harassment after witnessing his boss make several racially insensitive comments. Koffi contends that the behavior created a “hostile and intimidating” working environment.

The lawsuit, which will be present to a Central London Employment court on July 18, details various incidents including an exchange that Koffi had with his boss and a few other employees in December last year. “During this discussion, my manager quite randomly stated that "black people are slaves and eat dirt off the floor," Koffi told The Mirror.

When confronted the manager apologized and claimed it was a "joke." Since then that manager has vacated the job following a disciplinary proceeding. However, Louis Vuitton still has to deal with the lawsuit.

According to The Mirror, the high-end fashion brand "accepts that the racist comment was made but defends the claim on the basis the company had taken all reasonably practicable steps to prevent the racist comment." A spokeswoman for Louis Vuitton said the company "has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind. This reported sentiment is in total violation of the Louis Vuitton Ethical charter. This issue was investigated, and the manager in question no longer works within the company."

In May Tiffany and Company was sued for racial discrimination, joining Barneys, Macy's, Alexander McQueen, and now Louis Vuitton, in the growing list of retail brands battling accusations of racism.



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