Tiffany & Co., a luxurious and sophisticated jewelry retailer, is being sued for racial discrimination by the company's only African American manager, Michael McClure. He is the sole African-American manager out of nearly 200 management positions.
Despite receiving positive reviews since beginning his employment in 1993, McClure alleges he was recently denied his annual bonus and given a warning for termination after receiving a negative performance review. McClure claims that Tiffany's newly appointed senior vice president, Anthony Ledru is the one to blame.
Shortly after being appointed, Ledru asked for store and group directors to send him photos of themselves so he could become familiar with their faces, an action that McClure believes was the beginning of the racial bias. McClure also alleges he received an anonymous interoffice envelope that read, "Shortly after Anthony Ledru visited your market he made a comment to a small group of male market vice presidents that I think you should be made aware of. In reference to you, he expressed a surprise that 'a black man is representing the Tiffany brand.'"
Tiffany rejects these claims. A representative of the company said, "We welcome and value diversity in all forms and emphasize a personal accountability and professionalism in a respectful and fair work environment."
With the unemployment rate nearly double for African-Americans, do you think that racial bias plays more of a role in employment decisions than we are aware of? Leave your opinion in the comments below.
*Image by Jaclyn Auletta, Flickr
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