Eyewear Store Manager Alleges Firing Tied to Discrimination Complaints

A Black former manager for an eyewear company is suing the firm and her ex-boss, alleging she was discriminated against on the job by her boss because of her race and fired in 2020 for complaining about her work environment and taking medical leave.

 Megan Dorty's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Luxottica of America Inc. and her former supervisor, Teri Pliego, alleges discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and harassment. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Wednesday.

Luxottica representative could not be immediately reached. Dorty was hired in July 2012 as a store manager in the Columbia, S.C. store and transferred to Los Angeles in September 2018 anticipating it would benefit her career, according to the suit.  Pliego was the area regional manager and Dorty's direct supervisor after the transfer, according to the suit. Dorty expected to be sent to a higher sales volume store such as the one in Century City, but was instead assigned to one with a lower amount of business in the Beverly Center area, the suit states.

 Pliego assigned a white male to the Century City store, the suit states.  ``Pliego has a pattern and practice of discriminating against minority female employees and/or managers under her direction supervision or control,'' the suit alleges.  Pliego also has a history of belittling, micromanaging and/or stating that some minority female employees are not doing their job well even though they are actually meeting or exceeding expectations, the suit alleges.

Pliego's 2018 performance review of Dorty was one of below expectations, the suit states. After Dorty complained about Pliego's alleged unfair treatment toward her and her preferential treatment to non-minority employees, Pliego's retaliatory response caused Dorty's health to decline and the plaintiff took a seven-month medical leave of absence in November 2019, the suit states.

 Dorty told management at the end of the leave that she was able to return to work and that she wanted to know what had been done regarding her complaints about Pliego, the suit states. However, Dorty received no response and was fired last Sept. 15, according to the suit. She believes she lost her job in retaliation for her complaining about discrimination and for taking medical leave, the suit states.

Photo Credit- Getty Images

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