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Versace sued for using secret ‘code’ for black customers

A former Versace employee is suing the company for unfair business practices, and one of the allegations in his lawsuit is that the luxury fashion label uses a secret "code" to alert employees when a black customer enters the store.

A former Versace employee is suing the company for unfair business practices, and one of the allegations in his lawsuit is that the luxury fashion label uses a secret "code" to alert employees when a black customer enters the store.

A former Versace employee is suing the company for unfair business practices, and one of the allegations in his lawsuit is that the luxury fashion label uses a secret “code” to alert employees when a black customer enters the store.

Christopher Sampiro, 23, says he was fired for being of mixed race, after working two weeks at the Versace outlet store in Pleasanton, California.

Sampiro alleges that during the new-employee training, a manager asked him if he knew about the “D410 Code” — the same code used for black clothing. The manager’s name is not mentioned in the lawsuit, which was filed in November, six weeks after the alleged exchange.

The manager instructed Sampiro “to say ‘D410’ in a casual manner when a black person entered the store,” according to the lawsuit. The manager explained the “code is used to alert co-workers that ‘a black person is in the store,'” the lawsuit said.

Sampiro responded by asking the manager, “You know that I’m African American?” In the lawsuit, Sampiro self-identifies as one-quarter African American.

After this response, Sampiro claimed the store’s management treated him differently and did not give him “legitimate” training.

Sampiro was fired after working two weeks in September because he didn’t “understand luxury” and didn’t “know the luxury life,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges Sampiro was not paid for time worked, did not receive rest periods and was wrongfully terminated.

In court documents filed with Alameda County Superior Court, Versace denied Sampiro’s allegations and asked a judge to dismiss the case. A case status conference is scheduled for March 21.

CNN called Versace’s corporate office and its Pleasanton store. Calls were not returned.

12 comments

  • confused

    See the Burlington Coat Factory and the Victoria’s Secret Store thefts and you wonder why employees go on high alert. As a teen, all the stores watched packs of kids, you couldn’t being in backpacks-even to a gas station-all bags had to be left with a cashier while you shopped-and that was the 80’s; get over it.

    • confused

      BTW a pack was 2 or more lol Most stores we were only allowed in 2 or 3 at a time. Just had to wait your turn to shop. No biggie. That’s just the way it was/is. What people need to remember is that it is NOT everyone is a thief but it IS the few who are that ruin everyone else’s shopping time. At least now people can shop on line.

  • Wall off Milwaukee's North Side

    Who do the blacks have to blame for such precautions? Only themselves. 99% of the thefts that happen at stores are by black people. Sometimes they stoop so low as to bring their children with them (What fine examples of parenting!). Now you wonder why people are “on alert” and watching you? Clean up your race and we won’t have to keep a close eye on you. When I assisted the police for a few years, EVERY SINGLE TIME we would go to the Walmart up in Menomonee Falls (Prior to them moving across the way into Germantown) each one of those thefts was from a black person. The cop even said “Ya they come in here just about every night from the Brown Deer area, steal, then try to jump in their cars and hit the freeway to get away”. It’s not being racist when it’s a statistical FACT and daily occurrence at these stores!

    • Common Sense

      Interesting statistics. Too bad they are opinions and not facts. Ive seen more white people stealing than blacks the only difference is the white people get away with it because the store employees only focus on black customers. Serves them well too 🙂

      • Wall off Milwaukee's North Side

        Never said they were stats you silly liberal. They are in-person observed statistics while working directly with the PD on store-theft assignments. Over the many years I worked with them, there were very, very few instance of whites shoplifting and then it was mostly teenagers or drug addicts (in a very predominately white area). Blacks are doing so at all ages and I’ve never seen a white person bring their child along to steal with them, which I’ve seen several times with the black community. My observation over several years is pretty accurate as to how reality is, as we were arresting blacks EVERY SINGLE DAY (multiple times a day) for shoplifting. I’m sure you’ll continue drinking your FAUX6 liberal koolaid and live in fantasy land with the rest of the libturds. I could put statistical facts in your face all day and “your type” wouldn’t believe me anyways, as you’re pretty much a waste of everyone’s time and your thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.

      • Wall off Milwaukee's North Side

        To clarify my previous post for your slow brain “Common Sense”, I consider “in-person observed statistics” different than “published statistics”, which are usually compiled from a much larger area, not just one city or group of cities. My in-person observed statistics I feel are more accurate than many published statistics that many times published statistics don’t take everything into account, such as dismissed cases or cases that are converted to lesser crime charges with plea-bargains. I know it must be really hard for you to comprehend this, but maybe you should do a little more reading on the subject instead of coming into these comment areas and making yourself look like an uneducated liberal tool.

      • Mike

        The lack of human compassion for outright racism/discrimination is no longer astounding to me as it has become the norm. SOME people who live in their lily-white towers could care less what others go through. What a disgusting time that we live in.

    • Adil Bey

      I’ve seen multiple Anglo/Caucasian Managers stealing not only high priced merchandise, but also ridiculous amounts of money from cash registers. The system is set up to protect them so often they are able to commit the offence again! But what does theft have to do with an honest employee’s job being ripped out from under them based on the colour of their skin? I’ve also seen 2 valedictorians who were notorious for cheating on exams, so don’t pretend whites don’t steal and cheat!

      • Wall off Milwaukee's North Side

        Never said white’s don’t steal or cheat, but thanks for being a typical liberal and putting words in everyone’s mouth. I had mentioned statistically, it’s those who are black who are much more prone to such crime and speaking from my own personal experience (police statistics), 9 out of 10 thefts were by the black population. We were dealing with black theft on a daily basis. Quit trying to blame others for your own community’s lack of education and theft. Maybe try helping the problem instead of pointing fingers at white people and being a hindrance.

  • Adil Bey

    In any case, people from all races steal, it’s a part of human nature if you’re corrupt. Asians, Latinos, Indians, Chinese, Blacks, Arabs, and Khazars are not immune to stealing…This article however highlights a different issue!

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