Fashion prestige Louis Vuitton, faces an employment tribunal for racist misconduct by the manager. The store was located in London’s Selfridges, and it has been alleged that an African employee was told: “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor.”
Oliver Koffi, a sales associate, stated that he was packing shoes away in a store room when he heard the incident, along with other staff who were equally as shocked. During his racist rant, the manager also called Barack Obama a “muppet”, and said that instead America should employ Miss Piggy as president because Muslim people do not eat pork. However his rant did not end there. He reportedly continued to degrade other races and religions, jumping from subject to subject with no care to whom he might offend.
The contract worker took it upon himself to record some of the offensive comments made by the manager, as evidence after a number of people raised concerns about his racist conduct. They were all described as offensive and derogatory, portraying a clear illustration of his prejudice. One example was his comment that some of the Louis Vuitton products were “s*** because they were made in China.”
Koffi claims he also confronted his manager about his behaviour, telling him that he had been offended by some of the comments he had made. Rather than denying it, he merely apologized and said it had been a joke. However Koffi stated that he often referred to customers by their skin colour, and that he would question him about his nationality and where he was “originally” from. He described the environment as intimidating and hostile.
After a disciplinary hearing, the store manager ended his employment. Koffi is now suing Louis Vuitton for racist discrimination and harassment. Their spokeswoman stated they have a zero-tolerance policy to harassment of any kind, and that this incident is a violation of their ethical charter. They also pointed out that after investigation, the line manager’s employment ended.