Zara’s former general counsel in the US has slapped the clothing chain with a discrimination lawsuit in excess of $40 million. Ian Jack Miller has accused several current and former Zara executives of discriminatory acts while he was employed with them. Miller claims the discrimination slurs included offensive terms for being Jewish, American and gay.
The discrimination lawsuit will see executives be held accountable for why they have a seeming preference for being “straight, Spanish and Christian” according to Fashionista. While the lawsuit is yet to proceed to court, Zara has been known for its blunders of late, having to pull handbags with swastikas emblazoned across them, children’s wear that resembled holocaust prisoner uniforms and jewelry that indicates slavery from their fashion range.
Ian Jack Miller has pursued the discrimination lawsuit after he claimed he was fired after Zara executives found out he was Jewish. Miller claims Zara discriminated against him by cutting his annual pay rises from 15% to a mere 3%. The discrimination lawsuit also raises the idea that Zara employees used Jewish slurs such as “los judios” (Spanish for “the Jews”) and referring to Jewish people as “those people” in relation to how hard they (Zara employees) found it to work with Jewish people. In the discrimination lawsuit, Miller also claims former Zara USA CEO, Moises Costas Rodriguez, sent him emails quantifying marriage as “sanctified between a man and a woman.”
According to Miller’s lawyer, Alexandra Harwin, and the New York Daily News, the discrimination lawsuit against Zara has plenty of damning evidence, claiming nothing was done when Miller complained about the discrimination he was subjected to.
“Mr. Miller repeatedly complained to the highest ranking legal officer about the discrimination and harassment but nothing was done.”
Harwin also cites the claim that Miller was fired from Zara in March, 2015 – a day after he notified them he was filing a discrimination lawsuit against them. She also points at micromanagement prior to the discrimination lawsuit in an attempt to isolate Ian Jack Miller from his colleagues and marginalize his career as a result of his background and sexual persuasions.
“We believe the behavior of the company and many of its executives is absolutely outrageous. Their treatment, including the open denigration of Jews, is something that no employee should have to face.”
While the evidence he has claimed in the discrimination lawsuit is fairly damning, it seems the evidence most likely to damn Zara is the amount of email evidence he has pointing to racial slurs against the Obamas. Fashionista reported that the emails “portray[ed] Michelle Obama serving fried chicken and emails depicting Barack Obama in a Ku Klux Klan hood, with a Confederate flag, on a Cream of Wheat box, on an Aunt Jemima box and shining shoes.” It is this sort of racially motivated slurs that got Sony into hot water after their employees, Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin, joked about Obama and essentially got Sony’s reputation dragged through the mud.
As yet, Zara has declined comment on the discrimination lawsuit filed against them by Ian Jack Miller.
[Image credit: Getty Images / Sean Gallup]