NEW YORK — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday filed a suit in Manhattan federal court charging retailer French Connection Group Inc. with religious discrimination.
The suit claims the company rescinded an offer of employment after learning the applicant would need to leave work early Fridays in the winter to observe the Jewish Sabbath.
According to the suit, the company on Feb. 16, 2001, offered Amanda Nathan, an Orthodox Jewish woman, a position as a trim buyer, at which point she informed the company that she would need to leave early Fridays, but said she would make up any lost time during the week. On Feb. 19, the suit claims, the company rescinded its offer.
On July 10 of that year she filed a complaint with the EEOC.
After the job offer was rescinded, Nathan, who was working as a trim buyer at another company when she applied for the French Connection job, quit her former position and went back to school for interior design, said Monique Roberts, the EEOC trial attorney trying the case.
The suit seeks to make the company compensate Nathan for her lost wages as a result of the rescinded offer, to pay her punitive damages and to put in place policies to ensure equal employment opportunity.
"We hope to achieve some level of justice for her and for other observant Jews that need to observe the Sabbath, and to show that companies can’t discriminate on the basis of religion," Roberts said.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, French Connection said it had not yet been served with court papers and added, "French Connection is an equal opportunity employer and takes great pride in the diversity of its workforce."
"'Dynasty' is all about gowns, the diamonds and the scandal, so it's a bit like the fashion industry. When we come to Cannes it's all about the red carpet dresses too, so it all fit really well," said designer @philippplein78 on the theme of his high-glamour resort 2019 show at his mansion in Cannes. #wwdfashion #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“I would think to myself, Are you happy? Yes, I’m wildly happy. I go to this studio every day and, in my inside voices, I’m giggling; I’m singing. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it’s a [huge] volume of material. It wouldn’t be for everybody. But I was very happy,” said soap opera star @therealsusanlucci of checking in throughout the years with her career trajectory. Lucci spoke to WWD about her decades-long career, love for pilates, motherhood and her QVC activewear line. Read Bridget Foley’s full piece on Lucci on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @celestesloman)
@balmain has taken a stand at the #cannes Film Festival, dressing 16 actresses at a press call for the project “Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,” or “Black Is Not My Profession.” The multimedia project includes a book, photo exhibit and documentary, which aims to expose discrimination in the French and American entertainment industries. “The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me, and for this brand, to form a part of this moment,” Balmain creative director @olivier_rousteing told WWD. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle