A lawsuit seeking class action status against Versace could rack up more than $250,000 in damages, prompting the luxury house to ask to have the case moved to federal court.
The complaint, filed in Alameda County superior court, alleges the company did not provide the plaintiff, Christopher Sampino, with full compensation for hours worked, lunch and other breaks and did not prevent discrimination and harassment, among other claims. Versace this month denied any wrongdoing and asked for the move from state to federal court partially due to an estimate of a portion of damages being sought by Sampino, which exceeds a $75,000 minimum threshold required to transfer the case to federal court.
Attorneys for Versace said in a response filed in court Dec. 13 that it denied all allegations, laying out its answers to the lawsuit across 61 defenses.
Sampino, who was employed at the company’s San Francisco Premium Outlets store in Livermore, Calif., from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1, alleged in his lawsuit the store had a discriminatory policy that instructed employees to say “D410,” an internal merchandise code assigned to the color black, while holding a black shirt if an African-American customer entered the store. Sampino said in his lawsuit upon receiving the training instructions, which occurred on his second shift at the store, that he pointed out to the shift manager that he is African-American. Sampino then alleges he no longer received proper training as it related to state labor laws on meals and breaks or the login information used by company employees to access their pay stubs.
Sampino said he was fired from the store Oct. 1 and was told it was because he didn’t “understand luxury” and hadn’t “lived the luxury life,” according to the lawsuit.
The filing suggests there are “hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals in recent years alone,” who could be part of the class action if certified.