L'Oréal’s Ugly Beauty Mark: Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Ensues

By CultureBanx Team

  • L’Oréal Ex-VP Amanda Johnson’s claims her firing was racially motivated

  • In October, L’Oréal reported $7.34B in revenue for Q3

Former L’Oréal (OR.PA -0.24%) digital marketing vice president Amanda Johnson claims she was fired for speaking up about a racially toxic working environment at the company’s executive levels. In a 40-page complaint Johnson described "sex-fueled" parties on European business trips and a boss watching porn on his phone.

Why This Matters: Johnson worked for two years on the Matrix and Biolage brands, and was showcased as an example of diversity by L'Oréal globally. With a decade of experience in digital advertising strategies she ascended rapidly through the company’s ranks.

Johnson alleges that her boss, Dan Bethelmy Rada, global president of Matrix and Biolage, asked her to lure junior employees to join a party at his suite in a Rome hotel during a July 2016 business trip. Also, she felt physically threatened by her former colleague Nicholas Krafft, attributing his behavior to racism and sexism.

In October, L’Oréal reported $7.34 billion in revenue in the third quarter, which was up 6.2% from the previous year. The company has experienced lots of positive momentum thanks to a balanced company portfolio and strong presence in its digital channels, the division Johnson worked in.  

Johnson worked for two years on the Matrix and Biolage brands, and was showcased as an example of diversity by L’Oréal globally

L’Oréal’s heavy investment in digital channels is also paying off, sales grew by 38% in during the most recent quarter. Digital sales are expected to grow steadily from the 7.8% that internet retailing makes up for the company today.

Situational Awareness: L'Oréal responded in a statement alleging that her claims were investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. The company claims she was fired for unprofessional conduct. Johnson is seeking reinstatement, back pay, legal costs and punitive damages.

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