Brian Sutherland, lead counsel, and Rachel Berlin Brown, co-counsel, have taken on the case of Andrea Kessel, a makeup artist who has filed a civil suit against New York-based Make-up Art Cosmetics (MAC) for employment discrimination, including racial segregation through race-matching of staff and customers.
The lawsuit alleges that during her employment as a makeup artist with MAC in Centerville Georgia, Ms. Kessel, who is white, was repeatedly told she was hired to attract and work with only white women, prevented from providing services to black women, and subjected to discriminatory remarks by her black supervisor in front of colleagues and customers.
According to the Complaint, Ms. Kessel was retaliated against by being written up on phony workplace violations, treated poorly after she requested and was denied the use of a chair to alleviate back pain related to a disability, and disciplined and fired when she reported her mistreatment to human resources.
Furthermore, Ms. Kessel was treated differently than black employees, receiving unjustified discipline from her supervisor who repeatedly ignored the actual violations of her black coworkers and denied the same vacation requests granted to black employees. MAC fired her less than one month after making a formal discrimination complaint.
The lawsuit (Case 1:23-cv-00969-SDG-RDC) was filed on March 6, 2023, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia.Counsel Comments
“Racial discrimination and segregation in the workplace are wrong, full stop,” said Sutherland. “Discriminating against employees by preventing them from serving customers of another race demeans not only the employee but also the customer, and that’s why it violates federal law.”