By Janet Allon
Pavolo Venezia worked for Sunglass Hut for 18 mostly happy years, most recently at its store on tony Spring Street in New York City’s SoHo. It was there that he got a new boss, Debbie Gidiull, who made his life miserable, Venezia claims in a lawsuit against Sunglass Hut LLC and parent company Luxottica Retail North America reported in today’s Courthouse News. Under the new boss, the company “revamped the face of its most popular store by getting rid of older employees, and black and Hispanic employees,” the lawsuit states. The directive, Venezia alleges, was “to hire white beauty people,” because “Black and Hispanic employees are not a good look for the store.”
Venezia disagreed with those policies, and so inevitably friction arose between him and and Gidiull.
According to Courthouse News:
The complaint continues: “At some point during the year of 2010, Mr. Venezia was approached by high level members of the defendant who verbally reprimanded plaintiff for plaintiff’s failure to conform to previously given directive to lessen the amount of black and Hispanic employees. Plaintiff was reminded that black and Hispanic employees did not properly represent the customers who shopped at the SoHo stores and thus said employees were not a good look for the store.