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Biased at Tiffany?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A black man who runs two Tiffany & Co. stores in Texas is suing the luxury retailer in New York, alleging that the company engages in “systemic, nationwide pattern and practice of racial discrimination.”

The group director has worked for the company since 1993 and claims to be the only black person out of more than 200 management employees who represent Tiffany to the public.

The plaintiff alleges problems began for him in the fall of 2013 when a new senior vice president requested photographs of all store and group directors. This spring, the man alleges, he received his first negative review in 20 years as a Tiffany employee. The review contained a warning that he could potentially be terminated because of his performance.

His lawsuit notes that one of the stores in his group increased sales by 15% under his leadership at a time when many other Tiffany stores showed growth of just 1%.

He further claims that after the vice president visited Texas, an anonymous interoffice memo arrived ex­­pressing “surprise that ‘a black man is representing the Tiffany brand’.”

Note: Employers should always base performance reviews on objective data to avoid any hint of discrimination.

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