Second Race Discrimination Lawsuit for Calling Saleswoman “Burrito Face” and “Taco Smoke”
Top British fashion house Alexander McQueen was hit with its second discrimination lawsuit this year after a Hispanic saleswoman is alleging she had to endure ethnic and personal slurs for a decade. Moselle Blanco, a former saleswoman at Alexander McQueen’s Manhattan flagship store, is alleging that her bosses called her names like “burrito face,” “taco smoke,”and “Goya princess,” and turned a deaf ear to her complaints.
Blanco says one sales manager in particular, Max Cantey, singled her out. Cantey reportedly spread vicious rumors about her over her decade-long career. According to lawsuit Cantey said Blanco had “greasy hands like a Mexican,” and told her not to touch the furs because she would get oil on them. The lawsuit also claims Cantey claimed she was drunk at work, she gained weight easily and had a claw foot.
Complaints of Race Discrimination Insults Were “Made Light” of by Managers
Blanco alleges that when she complained about the name-calling that managers “made light” of her complaints. Co-workers said the insults were just a byproduct of the “brother-sister” relationship that existed between Cantey and Blanco.
According to court papers when another manager named in the suit blatantly ignored Blanco’s complaints, Cantey responded by spreading lies that she stole store inventory, even claiming Blanco did cocaine in the bathroom.
Blanco was fired in September 2012, allegedly because she did not retrieve a dress that had been sent to Jessica Seinfeld on loan. It was also considered punishment for her prematurely ringing up, as sales, clothes that had been sent to two other clients on consignment. Blanco said the alleged abuse also infringed on “her ability to close additional sales with her clients.”
The Alexander McQueen store has since issued this statement:
“Alexander McQueen is committed to equality in the workplace, and we are proud of our diverse employee base. We take any allegations of this nature seriously and will always investigate them thoroughly, but we will not comment on individual cases.”
Othman Ibela, a black security guard filed a similar lawsuit against the company in July, claiming he subjected to racially insensitive taunting by sales clerks. He was so distraught at his treatment in the company he wanted to hang himself. Ibela also alleges black customers were racially profiled.
Peter K. Levine
A Professional Law Corporation