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Former Saks Employee Charges Discrimination

A discrimination charge by a former department manager was filed on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Raleigh, N.C.

NEW YORK — A discrimination charge by a former department manager was filed on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Raleigh, N.C.

According to EEOC’s Form 5, the discrimination charge filed by Kurtyce Cole was based on race and retaliation. Cole, an African-American, was hired in June 2004 as a department manager. The EEOC form said that from February until March of this year, he was racially harassed by the general manager, an Indian. Cole said he complained about certain comments made to him by the general manager to a Saks regional vice president of human resources, but that nothing was done. Cole alleged that, by early May, he was placed on a performance improvement plan and then was discharged on July 15. According to the EEOC paperwork, Cole charged that “no reason was given to me as to why I was discharged.”

The EEOC also said that Cole believes he was discriminated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and then was retaliated against for complaining of the alleged discriminatory acts.

A spokeswoman for Saks said, “It is against our policy to comment on associate matters.”

According to Cole, he was the manager for men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, which is located on the first floor.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.