The Bond No. 9 perfume company implemented a racist code for Black customers, this according to a federal lawsuit filed against the high-end establishment. According to the filing, employees were instructed by the owner to racially discriminate against certain customers in its Manhattan location on Bleeker Street.
Former employees, Veronica Robledo and Karin Widman filed the suit against owner Laurice Rahm. Robledo asserts that Rahm wouldn’t allow her to assist White customers because her “skin is dark.” After working with the company for more than six months, Robledo was fired and believes her termination came because she complained about racism. “The last eight months were torture,” she said. “I was afraid to speak to a Black customer.”
Once a Black customer entered the store, employees were allegedly told to use the sentence “We need the light bulbs changed,” alerting them to keep an eye on the shopper.
Rahm is said to have admitted to using the code, but only to “protect the girls” in the store, being that her store had been robbed by Black assailants. She went on to state that many of her employees are minorities, and claims that the lawsuit was the work of disgruntled former member of her team.
Robledo is seeking $3 million in damages for the “pattern of racism” she says she witnessed.
Despite its diverse population, New York City is often in the spotlight for various act of reported racism. The NYPD has become a public target for allegedly singling out people of color by way of their “stop and frisk” policy, and members of their police force who have been accused to being racist.
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Photo: New York Daily News