This one, from the NYT, is particularly interesting because the plaintiff is African-American and has, it would seem, risen up the ranks of Tiffany management.
According to the complaint, of the more than 200 management positions that represent Tiffany to the public, a range that includes executive officers, store directors and members of the board of directors, only one is held by an African-American employee: Michael McClure, the plaintiff in this lawsuit.
Last fall, after management changes at the company, Anthony Ledru, the new senior vice president for North America at the time, asked store and group directors to send their photographs. The request said Mr. Ledru was requesting the pictures “as a result of Anthony’s extensive market travels and meeting numerous people along the way.”
Then in the spring, Mr. McClure received a negative performance review, the complaint stated, and the company placed him on warning for termination…
Why did this guy want photos? Can’t think of any reason except the one Mr. McClure has thought of. A bad, bad move.
In May, after Mr. McClure had hired a lawyer and the company had started two internal investigations, he received an anonymous interoffice envelope, according to the suit. “Shortly after Anthony Ledru visited your market he made a comment to a small group of male market vice presidents that I think you should be made aware of,” the letter said, as quoted in the complaint. “In reference to you, he expressed a surprise that ‘a black man is representing the Tiffany brand.’ ”