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Gucci Sued for $10 Million by Ex-Store Employee for Sexual Harassment

The plaintiff claims higher-ups did nothing.
Inside a New York Gucci store in 2016. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GUCCI

Inside a New York Gucci store in 2016. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GUCCI

In a pretty rare bout of bad press, Gucci is named in a nasty lawsuit over a former Chicago store employee's accusations of sexual harassment, allegedly committed by her store manager.

As first reported by TMZ, and according to the official complaint filed Sept. 29 (which we obtained), said manager, identified as "Byrne," began my making "flirtatious overtures" to the plaintiff, Chanel Falasco, shortly after she began working at the location in fall of 2014. Those overtures, which documents say were unwanted and not in any way reciprocated, escalated in grossness over time; anecdotes described include: commenting on her "booty" and "ass," calling her by the nickname "Booty" while at work, making "physical advances" in an elevator including "attempted kissing, groping, and grabbing Plaintiff’s head, neck, torso, and buttocks," and, later, exposing himself to her in a storeroom. The documents also allege that there was no human resources staff on site and that she was told by a supervisor to "brush him off." 

During a performance review, Falasco says "Byrne" commented to her that she would have received better scores had she given into his advances. "Byrne" got promoted to a location in Florida shortly thereafter; Falasco quit in February of 2016 after a company sexual harassment training exercise brought back traumatic memories, per the filing. Gucci has not been commenting to press on the matter.

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Falasco is seeking unspecified damages (over $10 million according to WWD) for a hostile work environment caused by sexual harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment and negligent supervision on the part of Gucci.

As far as legal entanglements go, Gucci is usually only in the news over counterfeit claims — and one instance of a salesman claiming he was fired for being straight. While Gucci doesn't deserve all the blame for one disgusting person's repulsive and inexcusable (alleged) actions, the Kering-owned brand did employee said person, and (allegedly) failed Falasco in her attempts to seek help. We'll be keeping an eye on this case and report back with any updates.

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