Fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton faces racial discrimination and harassment charges brought by an employee who said his boss engaged in racist rants in a London store.
According to Oliver Koffi, a Louis Vuitton sales associate in the brand’s outlet embedded in a London Selfridges, a United Kingdom department store chain; his supervisor recently launched a racist tirade in front of Koffi and other employees in the store’s stock room during a discussion of the origins of the English language.
“ ‘Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor’,” Kofi said recounting the manager’s comments to the UK Mirror. The manager, who was not identified and who no longer works for Louis Vuitton, derided President Obama, calling him a “Muppet” and adding that America would be better off with “Miss Piggy” as president because “Muslim people… don’t eat pork.”
Koffi said that when he approached his manager about his comments, the manager responded by saying it was a “joke.” Koffi told the UK Mirror he recorded his manager bashing other races and religions. He noted that there were frequent remarks about Asian people, including comments about some Louis Vuitton products being “s***” because they were “made in China,” “All of his comments were derogatory and a clear illustration of his prejudices towards other races and religions,” Koffi, a contract worker at the store, told the UK Mirror.
The manager’s comments created a “hostile and intimidating” working environment, Koffi said in a complaint to be heard July 18 in a Central London Employment Tribunal where workplace conplaints are considered.
A Louis Vuitton representative told UK Mirror, “Louis Vuitton has a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind.”
“This reported sentiment is in total violation of the Louis Vuitton Ethical charter,” the spokesman said. “This issue was investigated, and the manager in question no longer works within the company.”