Tiffany employee sues, says luxury jewelry retailer discriminated against blacks

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A manager at Tiffany & Co. has sued the luxury jewelry company, saying it discriminated against him and other blacks.

A complaint filed in federal court Thursday in New York said that blacks are underrepresented in management-level positions at Tiffany and excluded from executive-level roles. It said that the plaintiff, Michael McClure, is the only African-American in the more than 200 U.S. management positions at New York-based Tiffany.

McClure is a group director, with management responsibility for two Tiffany stores in Houston. The complaint said that he was placed on warning and threatened with termination after a performance review that he says was unfair. As a result of the warning, he was denied an annual bonus and merit pay.

The complaint also said that McClure got an unsigned letter saying that Anthony Ledru, senior vice-president of North America for Tiffany, had said he was surprised that “a black man is representing the Tiffany brand” to a small group of other Tiffany employees.

Tiffany spokesman Carson Glover said in a statement that the lawsuit allegations are without merit and that the company values diversity.