Even billion dollar companies can allow legal mistakes to occur and have it cost them millions of dollars. Such appears to be the case when executives at Giorgio Armani allegedly discriminated against the company’s own general counsel, Fabio Silva.
The NY Daily News reported that Silva began working as general counsel for Armani in October of 2014. The lawsuit brought by Silva claims that Armani’s CFO Thomas Chan repeatedly told Silva he didn’t trust Mexicans during a time that they were working on a deal with a Mexican vendor. A co-worker let Chan know that Silva was Mexican. After that, Silva says that Chan subjected him to “heightened scrutiny and unfounded criticism.” Silva filed a complaint with the company’s COO, Giorgio Fomari. However, Fomari took no actions to correct the discrimination except to tell Silva he erred by saying something in writing. When Silva asked for a raise in April based on an outstanding performance review, he says Fomari wouldn’t give him a raise because of the discrimination complaint. Of course, this is retaliation.
Later on, Silva told his bosses that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer, but explained it was operable, and minutes afterward, the company’s HR rep fired him. She said she thought it would be a good time to tell him that the company was terminating him. The reason given was that they didn’t feel they could trust him. Silva is a highly respected and experienced attorney in the fashion industry. He filed a $75 million lawsuit against Armani, which is being heard by the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Situations like this can be easily avoided when companies make it standard policy to train their employees (including top executives) in equal opportunity employment practices.Our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates work with businesses to protect their rights and draw on more than two decades of legal experience. We help companies deal with employment issues and find resolutions to avoid full-blown lawsuits.