L'Oreal subsidiary cleared of 'racist' hiring tactics

2nd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 1, 2006 (AFP) - French cosmetics company Garnier, part of the L'Oréal group, and temporary employment giant Adecco were acquitted Thursday of applying racist criteria to hostess employment contracts.

PARIS, June 1, 2006 (AFP) - French cosmetics company Garnier, part of the L'Oréal group, and temporary employment giant Adecco were acquitted Thursday of applying racist criteria to hostess employment contracts.

A court in Paris threw out charges that Garnier, Adecco and Adecco subsidiary Districom had discriminated "based on origin, nationality or ethnic background" in a case brought by rights group SOS Racism.

The court was told that a fax sent by Districom specified that Garnier wanted only "BBR" or "Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" hostesses — meaning red, white and blue, the colours of the French flag — for a 2001 promotional campaign.

The defendants, including executives from the three companies, insisted that "BBR" simply meant that candidates should have a good command of the French language.

Dominique Tricaud, a lawyer for SOS Racism, described the acquittal as "extremely worrying" and said the group would appeal.

He accused authorities of "double standards", on one hand condemning racism at the highest levels but doing nothing to prosecute racial discrimination or protect victims.

Garnier lawyer Jean Veil applauded the court for its "good sense", saying there was "no element of fact" in the prosecution case.

France claims it is stepping up its efforts to combat racism following last year's riots in high-immigration suburbs, and the number of complaints filed with the HALDE anti-discrimination body has jumped from 150 to 270 a month.

Anti-racism groups say discrimination is widespread in the French job market but offenders rarely face trial.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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