The popular clothing retailer Zara is in hot water once again. Last summer they had to withdraw a children’s shirt from their shelves because it resembled a Holocaust concentration camp uniform. In 2007, the company had to withdraw a handbag with a swastika pattern.
If those two incidents weren’t enough for some to draw anti-Semitic conclusions about the Spanish company—Ian Jack Miller, the corporate attorney for Zara US and Canada for 7 years, recently filed a $40 million discrimination suit against the company. Miller, the first and only corporate attorney for the company, alleges that he was fired because he is Jewish, American, and homosexual. He says the company favors hiring employees who are Christian, Spanish, and heterosexual.
Amanzio Ortega the founder of Zara’s parent company Inditex is also the 4th richest person in the world. According to Miller, Ortega and his closest cohorts allegedly emailed him graphic gay porn scenes and repeatedly discussed their sexual encounters with prostitutes and female subordinates. Zara’s top executives are not only being accused of sexual harassment but also of blatant racism.
Miller claims he kept his Jewish background under wraps because of the rampant anti-Semitism around him. When the top executives at the New York office found out Miller was Jewish, he was allegedly fired. Miller’s claims include hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation. He seeks back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages.
Zara’s response to the lawsuit is: “We do not tolerate any behavior that is discriminatory or disrespectful, but value each individual’s contributions to our dynamic organization.”
Do you think Zara’s past issues with Nazi-type clothing will hurt them in this lawsuit?