A former Versace store clerk is accusing the luxury line of racial profiling.
Christopher Sampiro, who worked in Versace’s Pleasonton store in California, is suing the company for allegedly encouraging its employees to use a code word when black customers enter the store.
The 23-year-old, who self-identifies as one-quarter African-American, alleged that during new-employee training, a manager asked him if he knew about the “D410 Code” — the same code used for black clothing, according to CNN.
In a 30-page lawsuit filed with the Superior Court of the State of California, Sampiro said his manager asked staff “to say ‘D410’ in a casual manner when a black person entered the store.”
The manager explained the “code is used to alert co-workers that a black person is in the store,” according to the lawsuit.
Sampiro responded to the request by informing his manager of his own African-American roots, and things went down hill for him from there, according to the suit.
Following the revelation, Sampiro claimed he was treated differently and that he did not receive “legitimate training.”
He was fired after only two weeks on the job because he didn’t “understand luxury” and didn’t “know the luxury life,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges Sampiro was wrongfully terminated, did not receive pay for timed work and was denied breaks.
In court documents filed with Alameda County Superior Court, Versace denied Sampiro’s accusations and asked for the case to be dismissed, CNN reported. A case status conference was scheduled for March 21.