A former Versace employee is suing the company and has made the claim that it used secret codes to alert staff and security whenever Black customers entered the store.

Christopher Sampiro, 23, worked at a Versace store in Pleasanton, California for two weeks before being fired. 

In the lawsuit, Sampiro stated that a manager pulled him to the side during his training and asked if he knew of the “D410 code” – the same code used to identify black clothing, according to CNN. The unnamed manager then proceeded to inform him that he should casually use the phrase “D410” in conversation whenever Black shoppers entered the store.

Sampiro then informed the manager that he was actually of mixed race. Shortly after, his experience at the store changed as he was hardly trained and was eventually fired because he did not “understand luxury” or “know the luxury life.”

Six weeks later, Sampiro filed a lawsuit against the store claiming that he was wrongfully terminated, wasn’t given rest periods and wasn’t paid for time served.

“Versace believes strongly in equal opportunity, as an employer and a retailer. We do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, national origin or any other characteristic protected by our civil rights laws. We have denied the allegations in this suit, and we will not comment further concerning pending litigation,” said Versace in a statement.
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