Mikael Louis filed suit in the Eastern District of New York Court claiming that he has been the subject of harassment since his onset of employment there in January 2014. One of the managers allegedly commented “I love muscular black guys like you” and “I bet you have a big dick”
According to the lawsuit, that same manager Patrick Walmsley showed cell phone videos to Louis of him having sex with other men. He also referred to him as “Honey.”
As if addressing an employee with the name “Honey” wasn’t enough, another manager, Andy Liu had a name for him also. He called him “Nutella.”
Louis did not like the offensive name and immediately confronted Liu about it asking him “Who are you calling Nutella? My name is Mikael.”
That same manager would also refer to black people as “ghetto” and told Louis to look out for them in the store since they were known to steal. He also told Louis not to put any black employees on the register because they would steal money.
Louis concluded his employment with Forever 21 in April 2015. He says he just couldn’t take it anymore “I felt so uncomfortable. It’s not that I wanted to leave but at a certain point, I had to go.”
He now works as a nurse technician and is seeking unspecified damages from the retail giant.
This isn’t the first time the Kings Plaza store has violated employment laws. It turns out that last year a transitioning transgender woman filed suit against the company.
Alexia Daskalakis, 22 filed suit last spring indicating that the same manager, Patrick Walmsley subjected her to sexual-orientation discrimination, making comments against her trans identity and eventually terminated her without a cause. She was told to contact Human Resources to find out why she was fired but when she did that, they never returned her phone calls.
Her case is still pending in the Eastern District of New York Court.
“This is unacceptable,” said the attorney who represents both Daskalakis and Louis “There is obviously something seriously wrong at Forever 21, as this store location and these managers have now been accused by two employees of everything from racial bigotry and racial profiling to sexual harassment, transphobia, and retaliation.”
Forever 21 was founded in 1984. They made Forbes top 100 list of America’s largest private-owned companies. Their yearly revenue is 4.4 billion dollars.
Have you been the victim of sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace?
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