Zara Discrimination/Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Case Name: Ian Jack Miller v. Zara USA, Inc., et al.

Case Type: Discrimination & Harassment, Wrongful Termination

Filed in: New York Supreme Court

Docket: Case No.: 155512/2015

Case summary

On June 3, 2015, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a lawsuit against the clothing retailer Zara USA, Inc. (“Zara”) and two senior executives on behalf of Ian Jack Miller, Zara’s former in-house counsel. The lawsuit alleged that Zara discriminated against Mr. Miller based on his religion, national origin, and sexual orientation, culminating in Mr. Miller’s wrongful termination, in violation of the New York City and New York State Human Rights laws.

The Complaint alleged that Zara favored employees who were heterosexual, Spanish, and Christian – like the company’s founder and majority shareholder, Amancio Ortega.

Mr. Miller is Jewish, American, and gay. Between 2008 and 2015, despite excelling as the company’s first-and-only in-house attorney throughout the U.S. and Canada, Mr. Miller faced a vicious pattern of discrimination and harassment inside the company in the form of homophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic comments and emails, according to the Complaint. Further, the Complaint alleged, employees who fit the Company’s preferred profile received higher raises. Though Mr. Miller complained about this treatment, the Complaint alleged that neither Zara nor its parent company, the Inditex Group, took any action. In 2015, when counsel for Mr. Miller raised concerns to the company about unlawful discrimination and harassment, the Complaint alleged that Zara terminated Mr. Miller’s employment.

The matter was concluded in 2018.


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