We have amended the original charge filed on March 21, 2023, on behalf of Mona Atwa against Monique Lhuillier, Inc, the fashion house. The amendment includes race claims in addition to the initial allegations of retaliation, age, and religious discrimination. This case draws parallels to the notable 2005 lawsuit against Abercrombie and Fitch, where the company settled for $50 million after being accused of denying job opportunities based on a « look » to Latino, African-American, Asian-American, and female applicants.
Monique Lhuillier, Inc. must recognize that appearance cannot be the sole determining factor and that terminating an employee based on race to promote a culture favoring young, white, and attractive women is unacceptable. Ms. Atwa, a highly accomplished luxury specialist, was the company-wide top-seller in 2021 and had highest record of sales in company- history in 2022.
Ms. Atwa repeatedly voiced concerns about the discrimination she experienced at work, including being mocked for abstaining from alcohol consumption, having her sales unfairly assigned to other employees resulting in lost commissions, and deliberately having her returning clients reassigned, which violated company policies. The discrimination not only affected Ms. Atwa but also extended to the seamstresses, who were segregated by race, with Russians segregated on one side and Asian seamstresses on another.
Despite her exceptional performance and resilience in the face of discriminatory treatment, Monique Lhuillier, Inc. proceeded to terminate Ms. Atwa, disregarding their own profitability. True to form, Ms. Atwa was replaced by a young, beautiful white woman.
The complaint can be accessed here:
Statement from Marjorie Mesidor, Partner at Wigdor LLP:
“No employee should have to endure disparagement based on their race, age, or religion in the workplace. Furthermore, no employee should face termination for speaking out against discrimination. The animosity directed towards Ms. Atwa’s religious and cultural heritage was profound, and she deserved better.”