Prada: Drop your lawsuit against former-employee Rina Bovrisse.
  • Petitioning Claudia Burbui

This petition will be delivered to:

Senior HR Manager at Prada
Claudia Burbui
Owners of Prada
Miuccia Prada & Patrizio Bertelli
Deputy Chairman of Prada Group
Carlo Mazzi
Head of the Supreme Court of Japan
Hironobu Takesaki
Head of the District Court of Tokyo
Yuichi Okada
Head of the Supreme Court of Tokyo
Shuichi Yoshikai
Chief Operating Officer at Prada USA Corp.
Ruggero Caterini

Prada: Drop your lawsuit against former-employee Rina Bovrisse.

    1. Barrera Murakami Ayako
    2. Petition by

      Barrera Murakami Ayako

      Matsumoto, Japan

Rina Bovrisse spoke out against discrimination at Prada.  Now, the single mother is paying the price…

 Rina graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York and, during her 18-year fashion career, worked at some of the world’s largest luxury fashion companies, including Chanel Inc. and Prada USA.  Prada Japan hired Rina (a Japanese national) in April 2009 as Senior Retail Operations Manager and tasked her with overseeing 500 Prada employees.  She moved to Japan with her two year old son, excited about the opportunity ahead.  

Almost immediately, Rina began observing evidence of discrimination in Prada’s HR department.  She recalls Prada Japan CEO Davide Sesia ordering the demotion and transfer of fifteen female employees (many of them long-serving, top saleswomen) because they were “old, fat, ugly, disgusting or did not have the Prada look.”   

When she spoke out against this injustice, Rina was criticized for her own appearance, offered a demotion to an entry-level sales staff position, and then urged to resign.  

 In 2010, Rina and two of her Prada colleagues decided to take a stand.  They filed a lawsuit against the luxury fashion label, arguing that Prada’s appearance-based discrimination and harassment violated Article 709 of Japanese Civil Law.  

 Two years later, in October 2012, Tokyo District Court Presiding Judge Reiko Morioka ruled in favor of Prada, deciding that the company’s demonstrated discrimination was acceptable for a luxury fashion label and that a well-compensated female employee should be able to withstand a certain level of harassment.  

 The ruling flew in the face of Japanese and US law, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace and protects an employee’s right to report wrongful acts of corporations in public for social improvement. 

 Currently, Prada is countersuing the single mother to the tune of $780,000 for damaging the Prada brand by publicly accusing the company of discrimination.  The irony of this countersuit is that Judge Morioka and Prada’s attorneys previously acknowledged that discrimination had in fact occurred.  

 The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Japan to make sexual harassment illegal in the workplace after hearing Rina’s case in late April 2013.  The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women met with Rina to discuss her experience and the larger issue of discrimination against women in the workforce.

Join us by signing this petition to Prada. We are confident that your participation will send a clear message that Prada’s discrimination against its female employees and its bullying of this courageous single mother will not be tolerated by Prada consumers or the international community. 

Show Rina Bovrisse that she is not alone…

 Links to international news coverage: The New York Daily NewsThe Daily BeastBuzzfeed,JezebelNew York MagazineVogueThe Japan TimesBloombergand Daily Finance

To:
Claudia Burbui, Senior HR Manager at Prada
Miuccia Prada & Patrizio Bertelli, Owners of Prada
Carlo Mazzi, Deputy Chairman of Prada Group
Hironobu Takesaki, Head of the Supreme Court of Japan
Yuichi Okada, Head of the District Court of Tokyo
Shuichi Yoshikai, Head of the Supreme Court of Tokyo
Ruggero Caterini, Chief Operating Officer at Prada USA Corp.
Demonstrate your commitment to ending gender discrimination by dropping your lawsuit against former employee Rina Bovrisse.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. This case has finally reached the Supreme Court of Japan

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      On June 4, 2014, Prada Group's Defamation Case was filed at Supreme Court of Japan.

      On June 5, 2014, Women's NGO filed an official report on Prada Group Defamation Case filed at the Supreme Court of Japan to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

      We now have to wait for the decision from the Supreme Court of Japan.

    2. Reached 10,000 signatures
    3. Verdict for the case against Rina

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      At long last the case by Prada against Rina has come to its verdict. Unfortunately the court of Tokyo sided with Prada arguing that Rina bringing to light the discrimination practices damaged their brand image. But there have been a partial victory since the penalty against Rina has been drastically lowered from close to $800,000 down to $33,000. Their goal is to lower the punishment enough to where they believe Rina is able to pay it and be willing to accept it and finally go away quietly.
      Rina is not going to accept this or go away quietly. Even against the small amount she is going to file an appeal to the court and continue to fight for what she knows is right.
      And so should we. Now more than ever is the time to put pressure on Prada because they're starting to back off. It is time to demand Prada to end their frivolous case and apologize to Rina for their harassment and discriminatory treatment.

    4. Reached 9,000 signatures
    5. Rina on CBS news

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone. This is our latest update.

      As you may know, Rina's case was covered by CBS news. Here are some links to the Prada story coverage on TV in America.
      Thank you so much for your support. They covered Change.org a lot and the story was well researched.

      Meanwhile, the final testimony was filed at the Tokyo Court on Monday the 5th of August and the judgement day was announced for November 12th at 11 am.

      Caroline Kennedy, who was recently chosen as the first female American Ambassador to Japan, will receive a copy of the testimony.

      Thank you for your support as always.
      Ayako

      CBS NEWS
      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/08/06/ex-prada-employee-who-accused-fashion-house-of-discrimination-fights-nearly-800k-countersuit/

      YAHOO NEWS
      http://news.yahoo.com/video/ex-prada-employee-accused-fashion-070500484.html

      This links to the last court statement (English/日本語)

      http://goo.gl/CG5KZo

    6. Reached 8,000 signatures
    7. Court Update

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      After showing their unwillingness to even receive the petition, Prada this week made clear in the Tokyo court that they will not abandon their law suit against Rina for damaging their brand by revealing discriminatory internal company practices. This is doubled with the irony that Prada admitted to the sexist harassment that Rina made public.
      At this court meeting, the judges stated that they are now allowing Rina to present to the public the documentation of sexist memos and decisions that crossed her desk. Here is one of them. In this email Davide Sesia makes clear to Rina that a store manager's job security is tied to her physical appearance. This is outrageous. Imagine if you had to stay young and slender or you would lose your job.

      http://goo.gl/LlCAF

    8. Prada Japan hung up on me

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Prada Japan hung up on me and is showing that they have no interest in hearing our voices. As always, thank you for your continuos support on this important issue.

    9. Reached 7,000 signatures
    10. Over 200,000 signatures!

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all so much for supporting Rina. We now have over 200,000 signatures! I have the intention to deliver the signatures and messages from you to Prada soon.
      Thank you again!

    11. Reached 4,000 signatures
    12. The previous article has been translated into English.

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Here is the English version of the same report:

      http://www.pressclub.ch/conference/first-case-worlds-fashion-history

      Thank you for your support.

      The First Case in The World's Fashion History | Club suisse de la presse

      Club Suisse de la Presse Route de Ferney 106, La Pastorale 1202 Genève Téléphone 022 546 14 44 Fax 022 546 14 45

    13. New article in the TRIBUNE de GENEVE

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all very much for supporting Rina. We now have over 123,000 signatures! TRIBUNE de GENEVE just launched an article about this issue after Rina's press conference at the Human Rights Commission. Here is the link:

      http://geneveint.blog.tdg.ch/archive/2013/05/06/premiere-dans-l-histoire-de-la-mode-et-devant-le-haut-commis1.html

    14. Reached 2,500 signatures
    15. New Japan Times article

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Rina's case was reviewed again by the Japan Times highlighting the growing international support by signees to the change.org petition.
      Thanks again everyone for taking your time to support this effort and drawing attention to the injustice of Prada's suit.
      Here is the link to the new Japan Times article:
      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/02/national/60000-sign-petition-in-one-week-for-fired-prada-employee/#.UYLWcWQazCT

      Change.org - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change

      Change.org is the web's leading platform for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere to start petitions that make a difference.

    16. Reached 2,000 signatures
    17. the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for supporting Rina. Here is a video of the press conference.

      http://www.pressclub.ch/conference/first-case-worlds-fashion-history

    18. Reached 10000 signatures!!

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Wow! Amazing to have received so much support on this important issue. 10000 people have signed and still more are signing. Prada is starting to realize that people across the world care about how they treat their employees. It's this kind of solidarity that makes us strong in the face of powerful companies. The pressure is building for Prada to stop its lawsuit
      and persecution of Rina.
      Thank you everybody. Here is the link to the Rina Bovrisse fan page where she will post updates about her talk at the U.N. in Geneva.

      https://m.facebook.com/rinabovrissefanpage?id=356178124229&_rdr

      Rina Bovrisse Fan Page

      Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

    19. Reached 1,000 signatures
    20. We have reached 1000 signatures!

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you so much for supporting Rina. We have reached over 1000 signatures! It is wonderful that so many people are supporting this petition. As a Japanese woman in Japan, it feels comforting to see people from around the world show their care and support.
      Please spread the word. Every signature is another reminder to the executives at Prada that discrimination is not acceptable.

      Thanks!
      Ayako

    21. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights takes an interest in Rina's case

      Barrera Murakami Ayako
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for supporting Rina Bovrrise. We have reached over 600 signatures.
      I also have an important update:
      A report by the Working Women’s Network detailing Rina’s case was accepted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the CESCR’s 50th Session, scheduled for April 29, 2013.
      This is really important since it will push this case to a very high profile which it deserves. Companies do not have the right to bully employees or former employees even if it is legal in some countries.
      Please remember to spread the word and thank you for your support.
      Ayako

      Here are the links:

      http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/cescr/docs/ngos/WorkingWomensNetwork_Japan_CESCR50.pdf

      http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/cescrs50.htm

    22. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Lindsay Bodrug CAMBRIDGE, CANADA
      • about 14 hours ago

      Prada,

      What is more disgusting to me then your discrimination against female employees is the fact that you sued the female who was brave enough and intelligent enough to stand up against these remarks and actions. You had the opportunity to apologize to this courageous woman, re-brand yourself, and change these discriminatory qualities into equalities. Now, you look worse then ever, and should be blaming yourself for damaging your brand.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Suzanna McMahan RIDGELAND, MS
      • 1 day ago

      Prada has bad taste..in everything!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kim Pelletier REGINA, CANADA
      • 4 days ago

      I believe in doing what is fair just and right. These are Rina's values and mine as well. I support Rina.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tina Gogo STONEY CREEK, CANADA
      • 4 days ago

      I'm never going to buy another over-priced purse from them again, if they treat their employees with such contempt.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sybil Christen MONTREAL, CANADA
      • 11 days ago

      Denounce Prada and all similar cases! ...after all, their well-compensated male employees should 'be able to withstand an a certain level of harassment' too, no?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.