Prada Japan being sued by ex-employeeFashion & LifestyleNews & Features
Allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination are never to be taken lightly. One woman is on a mission to fight for justice. Former Prada employee, Rina Bovrisse, has been fighting a four-year-long lawsuit with Prada Japan. She now has the support of the UN behind her.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for Japan’s State party to establish new policies that would make sexual harassment in the workplace illegal. Prada has declined to comment.
“The Committee urges the State party to introduce in its legislation an offence of sexual harassment, in particular in the workplace, which carries sanctions proportionate to the severity of the offence,” read a statement from the UN, reported by Buzzfeed. “The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that victims can lodge complaints without fear of retaliation. The Committee recommends that the State party continues to raise the public awareness against sexual harassment.”
Rina is suing Prada Japan CEO Davide Sesia on the grounds that he allegedly demoted or dismissed female staff members who he considered “old, fat, ugly, disgusting, or did not have the Prada look”.
Prada denied the accusations but in November 2012 a Tokyo court ruled that the brand was guilty of discrimination, yet somehow still sided with the Italian fashion house. In retaliation, Rina took her case to the UN. Prada has countersued its former employee for making false statements.
In Rina’s own words: “Anyone who buys from the Prada and Miu Miu brands are supporting a culture of discrimination and power harassment. With the power of social networking, powerful companies can no longer hide their dirty secrets. I am taking a stand, but I have gathered strength from the support I get from around the world.”
She continues to say: “I’m here to take a stand for Japanese women who have been victims of harassment and discrimination at the workplace. I love this country. I’m proud to be Japanese … as a hard-working female, but the only issue that I saw in Japan was that the working environment was not (as) safe as overseas. I would like to be part of the next step, to create a (safe) environment. If we face an issue now, it should be solved within our generation.”
Never let anyone make you feel like you are not worthy. With one voice, many soon follow. She now has the support of two former fellow Prada employees. May they get the justice they deserve!