Veronica Robledo and Karin Widmann, two former “perfumistas” at the high-end perfume shop Bond No. 9, have sued the company’s owner Laurice Rahme, alleging that they were fired for not heeding instructions to follow black customers around the store when given a verbal cue.
The two former staffers are suing Rahme for $3 million. Robledo and Widmann allege that there was a code that Rahme used — “We need the light bulbs changed” — when she wanted them to tail a customer.
Robledo, who is Puerto Rican, worked with Rahme for nine years. Both workers were fired after Rahme accused them of stealing $25,000 worth of merchandise in February. They deny any thievery.
Rahme, of course, has denied that she’s a racist, saying that many of her staffers are minorities and professing her love for black customers in the New York Daily News. The code, she says, is used when someone dodgy comes into the store and bothers the “perfumistas.”
Just last month, another retailer, Wet Seal, was sued by staffers for discrimination.