Ralph Lauren Hit with Worker Complaints

February 26, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal anti-discrimination agency has given two former workers of fashion-design company Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. permission to sue the company for racial discrimination.

Henry Williams, an African-American, and Gerardeen Benedict, a Filipino, got the “right to sue” notice from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – a requirement before workers can take their complaints to court, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Williams, who worked in Polo’s shops in various department stores for five years, complained that the company increased his responsibility but not his pay.

Benedict, who worked in Polo’s human resources department, alleged white co-workers made more money that she did, despite her having a doctorate in experimental psychology from Columbia University.

A Polo spokesman told the Journal that the company “remains committed to a fair and diverse workplace.”