Armani Accused of Retaliating Against Whistleblower Who Claims Racial Discrimination

The Giorgio Armani Corporation recently became the target of a whistleblower lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, by Norma Moreno, a former sales associate for the well-known brand.

Moreno claims Barbara Camozzi, the general manager of the luxury fashion retailer, regularly discriminated against minority customers and employees and that Camozzi broke the New York Human Rights Law by firing her after she brought attention to the alleged discrimination. Furthermore, Moreno said her termination from the company in December, which had been attributed to poor performance, was also a result of discrimination against her because she is Hispanic.

Allegations of discrimination

According to the lawsuit, Moreno and two of the Madison Avenue store’s African-American employees complained last fall that Camozzi was refusing to serve Hispanic and African-American customers and would go so far as to guard the cash register when minority customers were present in the store. Moreno says that after they submitted the complaints, the company began retaliating against her and the other two employees.

In one specific incident, Camozzi allegedly yelled at Moreno while she was on the sales floor about a consignment she had already approved, then again falsely accused her of completing a consignment the next day. Several weeks later, Camozzi issued a performance warning to Moreno for failure to follow Armani’s consignment policy. Moreno sent an email to the director of human resources and the company’s vice president of retail to discuss and report the discriminatory conduct, and was eventually fired three days before she was scheduled to meet with the two senior executives.

There are laws in place protecting whistleblowers from discrimination and retaliation after they report wrongdoing. If your organization needs to investigate a claim, speak with a trusted Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.