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All Alone at Tiffany & Co.

June 4, 2014 Legal Team

It’s a familiar scene: Moon River crooning in the background as bejeweled and regal Holly Golightly slowly crosses in front of the Tiffany’s display windows, a pastry and coffee in hand. Throughout the movie, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly frequently visits the famous jewelry mogul.

During these scenes in the store, however, one may notice the absence of ethnic minorities in Tiffany’s, namely African Americans. But that was 1961, before the Civil Rights March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1963, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, and before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

But this is 2014. The absence of African Americans in the company’s management ranks is now the center of a potential race discrimination lawsuit.

In New York, a manager at Tiffany’s is suing the company for race discrimination. Michael McClure alleges in the complaint filed in federal court that the company has discriminated against him and other blacks. McClure is the sole African-American manager out of 200 total managers in North America.

McClure points to one particular occasion when he received an anonymous letter that stated Senior Vice President of North America, Anthony Ledru, had said he was shocked and surprised to see that “a black man is representing the Tiffany brand.”

McClure was ultimately terminated after a poor performance evaluation that he alleges was unfair.

Source: Associated Press