High-end department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue has a Chicago location, but it is their flagship New York outlet that is the focus of eight of its former employees. The group recently filed a race and age discrimination lawsuit in which they allege that they store had a hostile work environment and that they were wrongfully terminated from their jobs.
The plaintiffs stated in court documents that they “were each forced to endure a pervasive pattern of discrimination and retaliation . . . their respective managers deliberately targeted them because of their race and/or age.”
A news report stated that the plaintiffs are all male: four of them are African Americans, two are white and two are Hispanic. They say their managers used abusive language, denied them promotions and allowed other employees to engage in harassment. The eight say that the managers’ goal was clear: reshaping the workforce so that it was whiter and younger.
Saks said it take the “allegations seriously as we are committed to diversity and inclusion across our organization.”
The plaintiffs say attitudes in the company shifted after Hudson’s Bay Co. acquired the chain five years ago.
One of the former employees, age 68, said he had his best sales quarter ever in 2017 but was regardless told that he was not getting enough customers. “It was quite clear to me that they wanted to get me out of there because I was of a certain age,” he said in a news report.
If you face age or race discrimination in your workplace, speak with an attorney experienced in employment law litigation.