A former salesperson at an upscale Manhattan store says that she endured racial harassment and discrimination for a decade at the store before she was fired for discriminatory reasons. Harassment itself in the workplace is a form of discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discriminatory practices in the workplace and harassment based upon race or national origin (among other protected groups) can certainly have significant impact upon working conditions for a victim of such harassment.
New York human rights laws and federal workplace laws aimed at rooting out discriminatory practices provide workers with protections, including protections against having to fear for a job over complaining about discriminatory acts.
In the recent discrimination lawsuit against the British fashion store, Alexander McQueen on the Upper East Side, a woman says that she was frequently called offensive names at the hands of her bosses at the store. Among the slurs that she endured, her lawsuit says that she was called such names as “Goya princess” and “burrito face,” according to the New York Daily News. She says one sales manager was particularly aggressive in terms of ethnic harassment. She says that he spoke of her “greasy hands” alluding to her heritage.
Her lawsuit says that the barrage of insults did not involve a mere isolated incident. But, she says that managers essentially blew her off if she complained of the hostile work environment—often making light of her complaints about the offensive conduct. Ultimately, she says that she was fired.
Hers is not the first workplace harassment lawsuit against the Manhattan store. A man filed a race discrimination lawsuit against the store in July.
Source: New York Daily News, “Skeeve McQueen! Upper East Side fashion store boss called me ‘burrito face,’ Latina's bias suit claims,” Barbara Ross and Corinne Lestch, Nov. 7, 2013