Popular clothing store Forever 21 -- with locations in Florida and other states across the country -- has been accused of harassment by a former employee. The ex assistant store manager worked in another state and claims that he was called inappropriate nicknames and subjected to racial comments on the job. He filed a workplace discrimination claim against his former employer to right the alleged wrongs against him.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff -- who happens to be black -- worked for Forever 21 just over a year. During his tenure, his manager purportedly made sexually inappropriate comments that made him uncomfortable. He asserts that his store manager referred to him as "Nutella" to distinguish him from his Caucasian co-workers.
The racial remarks from his store manager apparently were not just in reference to the plaintiff. The man claims he was told to keep an eye out for black shoppers because they were going to steal from the store. Additionally, he was purportedly told that black employees should not be allowed to work at the register. Allegedly, the store manager also commented that black customers used bogus credit and gift cards and called them inappropriate epithets.
When the plaintiff complained, he was purportedly told that comments were made in jest and to stop being so sensitive. The man eventually quit working for the retailer and filed the workplace discrimination lawsuit, accusing Forever 21 of violating the New York City Human Rights Law. This is now the second lawsuit in less than one year concerning this particular Forever 21 location. It is illegal for employers in Florida to discriminate against workers based on their legally protected statuses. Aggrieved workers whose claims are successfully navigated may be awarded monetary compensation and other redress as deemed just through the civil court system.
Source: gothamist.com, "Brooklyn Forever 21 Managers Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Calling Black Worker "Nutella"", Miranda Katz, Feb. 12, 2016