Italian fashion house Etro has been hit with a lawsuit alleging the brand 'has long concealed a dark and malevolent secret.'
According to a complaint filed in New York state court, former Etro human resources director Kim Weiner claims that the Italian design house’s American arm Etro USA has, for at least two decades, maintained a ‘discriminatory animus’ which has ‘festered among the highest levels of management and plagued employees at Etro.’
Ms Weiner, who had worked as Etro USA’s human resources director since 2005 before being fired, claims that Etro USA ‘for decades has retaliated against, harassed, and fired Etro USA employees based solely on their age, race, sex, or disability.’ Ms Weiner claims ‘while Etro publicly supported women’s causes to promote its brand, including organisations aimed at ending gender-based discrimination’ the reality was different as ‘female employees were regularly paid considerably less than their male counterparts in comparable roles.’
Ms Weiner claims the company's discriminatory ethos led its executives to ‘fire employees based on protected characteristics’ and plotted to create a hostile work environment in order to rid its staff of African American employees. She is claiming violations of New York State human rights law and breach of contract, and is seeking monetary damages that include but are not limited to ‘compensatory damages, including damages for lost pay, benefits, and emotional distress, in an amount in excess of $25,000 to be determined at trial.’