Former Jimmy Choo Employee Claims Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

A former Jimmy Choo employee, John Ornelas, claims that after enduring harassment and discrimination at the hands of his supervisor for being gay, he reported the problem and was fired from the Beverly Hills store in retaliation.  The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 15th against the former employer, Jimmy Choo, and the former boss, Nikki Raffasha. The suit listed allegations of both wrongful termination and discrimination based on sexual orientation and race and seeks unspecified damages.

According to the suit, Ornelas was hired in 2011 as a Jimmy Choo sales associate. The nextyear he started work at the Beverly Hills store located on Via Rodeo Drive. After completing a month on the job, Ornelas claims that Raffasha started to insult and mock him regularly – often using derogatory terms describing both his race and sexual orientation. Ornelas further claims that the derogatory terms were flippantly used - even after the death of Ornelas’ partner of 12 years.

Ornelas claims that multiple reports submitted regarding the alleged harassment and discrimination had no results. He saw no improvement to the situation. In October 2015, the problem escalated when Raffasha took one of Ornelas’ sales and reported as her own. Ornelas states that he confronted his boss regarding the sale and that her response was to indicate that anyone would choose her over him – referring to him as “gay, Mexican trash.”

In response to this incident, management credited the disputed sale to Ornelas, but two days later he was fired from his job at Jimmy Choo.

If you have experienced discrimination on the job or if you have been fired from your job in retaliation for reporting a hostile work environment, please contact the southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug and Bhowmik.