Former Manager At Retailer Coach Sues Company For Weight Discrimination

| by Jordan Smith

Elizabeth DeLorean, a former manager at luxury handbag retailer Coach, is suing her former employer for weight discrimination.

DeLorean was fired from her role as a store manager in 2013 after gaining over 100 pounds, and alleges this was the reason for her termination, Daily Mail reported.

DeLorean was hired by the firm in 2002, and promoted to store manager five years later.

In 2010, she began gaining weight.

“It’s not like there was an illness,” said DeLorean’s attorney for the lawsuit, Sarah Prescott, according to The Detroit News. “She was going through some difficult times in her life that were personal concerns.”

DeLorean’s lawsuit alleges her employer constantly made an issue of her weight at work.

“Whatever happened to the girl who brought in her Lean Cuisines?” DeLorean was allegedly asked by a supervisor during a performance review, Daily Mail reported. "Where's that girl?"

The lawsuit claims that she was also told to have surgery, watch weight-loss television programs, and take weight-loss hormones.

“This wasn’t an isolated, ‘Mean Girl’ kind of comment,” Prescott added, according to the Detroit News. “This was systematic, constant and a company-sponsored idea that there is a fit with our brand and culture and you’re just not it.”

When Coach fired her, DeLorean was pregnant. She alleges that a manager confirmed that her weight was a factor in the company’s decision.

“The official reason given, related to so-called poor performance, was a pretext,” argued Prescott. “In point of fact, DeLorean was discriminated against and terminated because of her weight.”

Now, DeLorean is suing the retailer for more than $75,000, reported The Detroit News.

“Her view is, this isn't right,” Prescott said of DeLorean. "This shouldn't happen to me. This shouldn't happen to the next person. So, let's see if we can fix this."

Prescott also said that in the state of Michigan, there is legal protection against weight and height discrimination.

“While we do not comment on pending litigation, the allegations in the lawsuit are wholly without merit, and we strongly believe Coach will prevail in this matter,” a Coach statement read, according to Daily Mail.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Detroit News / Photo credit: Daily Mail