THE UN has backed former Prada employee Rina Bovrisse over her four-year-long lawsuit with Prada Japan concerning allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called to Japan’s State party to introduce new regulations that would make sexual harassment in the workplace illegal. Prada has declined to comment.
“The Committee urges the State party to introduce in its legislation an offence of sexual harassment, in particular in the workplace, which carries sanctions proportionate to the severity of the offence,” read a statement from the UN, reports Buzzfeed. “The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that victims can lodge complaints without fear of retaliation. The Committee recommends that the State party continues to raise the public awareness against sexual harassment.”
Bovrisse sued the company after Prada Japan CEO David Sesia reportedly demoted or dismissed female staff members who he deemed were “old, fat, ugly, disgusting, or did not have the Prada look”. Prada denied the allegations, but in November 2012 a Tokyo court ruled that the brand was guilty of discrimination – yet still sided with the Italian fashion house. In response, Bovrisse took her case to the UN. Prada has countersued its former employee for making false statements.
“Anyone who buys from the Prada and Miu Miu brands are supporting a culture of discrimination and power harassment,” Bovrisse said in her testimony. “With the power of social networking, powerful companies can no longer hide their dirty secrets. I am taking a stand, but I have gathered strength from the support I get from around the world.”