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Reports broke out earlier this week that a former Versace employee, is suing the company for unfair business practices, and including the allegation that the luxury fashion label uses a secret “code” to alert employees when a black customer enters the store.  According to CNN 23 year old Christopher Sampiro, says he was fired for being of mixed race, after working two weeks at the Versace outlet store in Pleasanton, California.

 Sampiro alleges that he was asked by a a manager during the new-employee training, if he knew about the “D410 Code,” which is the same code used for black clothing.  The lawsuit which was filed in November, six weeks after the alleged exchange does not mention the manager by name.

According to the lawsuit the manager further instructed Sampiro to say “D410″ in a casual manner when a black person entered the store.” The lawsuit said the manager explained the “code is used to alert co-workers that ‘a black person is in the store.”
CNN reports that Sampiro responded by asking the manager, “You know that I’m African American?” After this response, Sampiro claimed the store’s management treated him differently and did not give him “legitimate” training.
The lawsuit also stated that Sampiro was fired after working two weeks in September because he didn’t “understand luxury” and didn’t “know the luxury life.”  On top of that the lawsuit alleges Sampiro was not paid for time worked, did not receive rest periods and was wrongfully terminated.
Versace denied Sampiro’s allegations in court documents filed with Alameda County Superior Court, and asked a judge to dismiss the case. A case status conference is scheduled for March 21.
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