A former manager at the Victoria's Secret store in Ross Park Mall sued the company last week in federal court, saying she was fired because she posted an image on her Facebook page opposing racism that her employer interpreted as racist.
Mindy Caplan of Squirrel Hill, formerly a district sales manager from 2001 through January 2014, said she took a leave of absence between May and June 2014 to take care of a sick child and tend to her own medical condition.
She came back around June 9, 2014, on the eve of a traditionally busy week, and said her managers were not pleased that she had taken leave so close to the busy time.
In the spring, according to the suit, she had reposted on her Facebook page a photo objecting to the racist behavior of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The photo showed a parody of Sterling wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe with the caption: "Game 5 in LA is Free Sheet Night...Donald Sterling Bobble Head Doll night too!"
In her suit, she said she shared the image to "protest the racial discrimination in employment practiced by the Los Angeles Clippers in general and Sterling specifically, and also to mock, ridicule and protest discrimination by society in general."
But Victoria's Secret didn't see it that way, she said.
Human resources managers confronted her about the posting and questioned her about the number of black people employed in her district.
She said they told her the posting was racist and fired her. Her suit asks for her to be reinstated with back pay and benefits.