theJasmineBRAND.com exclusively reports, Versace – the international fashion house founded by the late Gianni Versace – has been slapped with a federal lawsuit accusing them of discriminating against a woman employee, with the company allegedly firing her due to ‘budget cuts’ and then turning around and giving her position to a male employee along with increasing his pay.
A woman named Joanna Dyczynska filed a federal lawsuit against Versace USA Inc. and Christopher Giunta in New York court.
The woman explains she worked for Versace from April 2013 until April 2015. She began work as a financial analyst for the company and then was promoted to a manager position.
Her job as an analyst included monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reporting, analysis and budgeting in coordination with business leaders. The former employee claims she often worked more hours than she was scheduled and was a regular in meetings with executives for Versace.
She says while holding her first title at Versace she was regularly given positive performance reviews, received a promotion with a large pay increase and a bonus along with never having been disciplined by her bosses.
Then in May 2014, her former boss was replaced as Chief Financial Officer by Christopher Giunta. A few months after his arrival she worked for one week and then took maternity leave. Once she returned from her leave in December of the same year she experienced ongoing discrimination because of her pregnancy until she was unlawfully terminated on April 1st 2015.
She says that prior to Giunta starting his job at the fashion house, she trained him on the company’s information systems and introduced him to company protocols.
During her maternity leave and in the months prior to her giving birth, she worked 12 hours per day to ensure all of the tasks and training tasks were completed.
When she returned from maternity leave she was told by Giunta that she would only have 30% of the responsibilities she had before she went on leave. Further, she said vital information from Versace’s corporate headquarters in Italy and decision affecting her team were concealed from her.
Then in January 2015, she had to work from home after a babysitter cancelled on her last minute. However, she went to the office with her baby to grab her laptop and other important items she needed to work. Once Mr. Giunta saw she brought her baby with her he said, “What the f*ck?” and then a month later during a meeting he told her she needed to “get her sh*t together”.
He said he was disappointed and had concerns about her decision-making, pointing out that she never got approval to bring her baby into the office and questioned whether she was right for the job.
Following the meeting, the woman had to once again work from home due to her kid’s daycare being closed for a holiday. She was given a hard time and told she could not work from home or take the day off and to find another daycare that was open. She ended up having to leave her newborn with a friend with no experience watching a child.
She was eventually given flexible hours to accommodate her being a new mother, but after she began working on the flexible schedule, Mr. Giunta began to treat her worse, marginalize her role at Versace, would say he was unavailable for meetings with her and frequently used profanity towards her.
Then she was called into a meeting with an executive at Versace along with Mr. Giunta who informed her due to budget cuts her position was being eliminated. She claims Giunta arranged a field trip for the employees in the office so they wouldn’t be present when she was fired.
The woman says she has learned that her role was not eliminated and following her departure a male employee was given her position and he was given a pay increase and authorized to hire an additional member for the team.
Dyczynska is suing the fashion house and Giunta for discrimination based on sex due to them subjecting her to disparate treatment due to her pregnancy. She is demanding damages for the lost past and future wages along with compensation for the emotional distress she endured.
Versace is one of the biggest fashion houses in the world and reportedly brought in over $450 million dollars in revenue for 2013. Gianni’s sister Donatella is the artistic director for the label.