Discrimination and harassment lawsuits can be very damaging to a company’s reputation regardless if they turn out successful. If a company is on trial for sexual harassment, it could discourage women from purchasing their products or applying for a job there. Strict employment policies must be upheld to ensure that all workers feel safe and welcome to work at an organization.
Unfortunately, businesses that are highly competitive can bring out the worst in their workers. Recently, eight men filed a discrimination lawsuit against the luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, who’s flagship store is in New York City.
The tough glass ceiling
Out of the eight men that worked in the Manhattan store, six of them faced racial discrimination. Four of the men are black and cite that the store placed them in unpopular locations on the floor, putting them at a disadvantage for achieving their monthly sales goals. They reportedly faced poor treatment from their managers accusing them of “speaking ghetto” and refusing them to let them advance despite their high sales numbers. The other two are Hispanic and have received similar mistreatment, as one of them faced false sexual misconduct accusations from one of the managers.
The only two white men of the group are filing for age discrimination. They claim that the supervisors spent more time helping the younger employees and unfairly terminated their jobs despite their sufficient sales numbers.
A string of lawsuits
What puts Saks and Fifth Avenue at a disadvantage is that this is far from the first discrimination lawsuit they faced within the last couple of years. Two years ago, five female workers sued the store’s restaurant after the restaurant reportedly fired them to bring in younger, male servers. They also came under fire for the treatment of a transgender employee in Texas. The controversy received national media attention, and their response to the incident resulted in the Human Rights Campaign suspending their Corporate Equality Index score.
One lawsuit should be a good enough sign that the company should reevaluate their employee treatment policies to ensure that worker mistreatment will never happen again. The diverse amount of cases against them could result in Saks and Fifth Avenue losing a significant number of customers or workers that are black, Hispanic, older, female and transgender. The high rate of discrimination complaints could discourage even more people not to work for or buy from the company.
If the employer continues to discriminate despite past history, it leaves them open for further lawsuits for not providing a safe work environment. If you or a loved one have faced discrimination from an employer, an employment law attorney can provide legal assistance to help your case against the company’s unfair work practices.