Cosmetic company L’Oréal guilty of racial discrimination

In a lawsuit a division of the largest cosmetic company in the world, L’Oréal, has been found guilty of racial discrimination after seeking to exclude non-white women from hostess jobs in 2000. L’Oréal’s subsidiary Garnier and the involved agency were sentenced to pay 30.000 Euro. It’s the first time that a company of this size has been found guilty of such an offense in France. In a fax to recruiting officers, management stipulated the women be aged 18 to 22, size 38-42 and ‘BBR,’ shorthand for the French national colours, Bleu, Blanc, Rouge, a term which is understand as ‘white French people’ and not the country’s large proportion of nationals of ethnic descent. Employees of the recruiting agency hired by L’Oréal affirmed the directives to hire only whites and were also urged to eliminate candidates with foreign-sounding names. Under normal circumstances, around 40 percent of persons recruited for similar positions, would be non-white. Here, only 4 percent were of ‘non-European’ origin.
Samuel Thomas of SOS Racisme, who brought on the case, heralds the ruling: “it is an enormous victory for everyone currently suffering race discrimination in France. Companies here clearly thought that racism was in their financial interest; diversity and difference are a source of richness.”