Some former employees and customers of Warby Parker in Toronto say as much about the popular eyeglass and sunglasses retailer. The allegations came to light following Warby Parker’s recent public pledge to do more to create an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.
In June, the company committed $1 million to organizations fighting racism and pledged to build “a meaningful approach that uses our resources, our voice, and our platform to drive action and change.”
(** Language Warning)
One former Toronto employee told blogTO, “This is bulls**t! This is literally just them doing it for profit. If they didn’t they would lose their image of being a cool, hip, relatable, millennial brand but internally that’s not what they stand for.”
“From day one they’ve given zero s**ts about black people or people of color.”
“It’s performative,” said another Warby Parker employee.
Many people who worked at the stores in Toronto and across the U.S. have been speaking out. In Toronto, an employee who worked there for over a year told the outlet she experienced – and witnessed – microaggressions, gaslighting and well, just very, very terrible things happening to people of color.
On one occasion she says she approached her manager about a co-worker who was bullying her and making her feel uncomfortable. Rather than dealing with the situation, she alleges the manager told her that the co-worker was “an intellectual and a scholar” and that she ought to excuse that person’s behavior on those grounds.
Employees from both the Yorkdale and Queen Street stores in Toronto claim they were frequently passed up or even excluded for applying for promotions or full-time positions despite their good sales performance.
“In a performance review [management] told me the key holder position was opening up and I should apply,” explained the Queen Street employee.
When she tried to follow up after the review, the employee said, “She [the manager] said we didn’t talk about it and the job isn’t for you,”
In response to those allegations, Warby Parker said:
“We’ve been following the comments on our post and have reached out to each and every former and current employee who has shared feedback about their experience working at Warby Parker.”
“We are investigating and re-investigating these concerns. Most of these employees, specifically in the location from [where] these allegations stem, were with the company before we enhanced these [reporting] protocols.”
“We can always do better to improve these tools and processes and look forward to making continuous improvements over time. It’s incredibly important to us to promote and celebrate high-performing talent within the organization.”
“In addition, we are outlining tangible ways that we can do better as a company to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognize that management roles across the organization do not reflect our larger team or our community. To change that, we will increase black representation to ensure that all team members see reflections of themselves across all levels and areas of the business.”
Toronto isn’t an exception for the alleged incidents. On June 9th, one employee from a New York store complained that “A great number of injustices had been perpetrated by the company’s white leadership, and too many attempts were made to strip black employees and employees of color of their dignity, perhaps in the hopes of diminishing us to the extent that we would not be able to face ourselves.”
“We’re taking current and former employee and customer concerns incredibly seriously, and are fully investigating (and in some cases reinvestigating) every incident that’s brought to our attention,” said Warby Parker in a statement to the outlet.
But the customer has the last word and if Twitter is any indication, it’s about to get ugly for Warby Parker: (** Language warning)
So I Canceled that idea. Maybe Stop Listening to the Lefty Grifters. Cancel Culture works both ways! pic.twitter.com/5APIyRdTYb
— Arizona Woman (@ArizonaWoman2) September 7, 2021
I’m ☹️ I even had the thought to use WP a few years ago.thankfully I didn’t or I’d have 2 destroy a pair of glasses. It worked bc I couldn’t find any frames that weren’t that ugly bulky melted plastic crap…polycarbonate??? The 70’s & 80’s called & want their frames back!
— karen (@professorkrene) September 7, 2021
Good I walked into to get glasses after a mask mandate was removed. But I had to wear a mask to get an exam and glasses I said good bye and went somewhere I did not have to
— MuyFiestaLinda (@FiestaMuy) September 7, 2021
Absolutely their goes a $300 dollar sale. Good luck getting the left to pay that for glasses!
— Mike Castellano (@mc4fish) September 7, 2021
Any if their commercials would have given you a hint.
— Born Loco (@LocoBorn) September 8, 2021
Interesting! Just found out I need stronger prescription glasses & my son does too. Probably could have had a brand loyalist in my son in the decades to come, but it’s a pleasure to cross @WarbyParker off the list! #idiots
— EyeVey (@EyeVey) September 7, 2021
Just wanted to let you know, after watching your recent webcast on the Warby Parker/ Nandini Jammi subject, I just left this message for them at Warby Parker…every little bit helps. pic.twitter.com/G9fWNUUUjg
— Jordan Moller (@JordanMoller2) September 7, 2021
I have never even heard of @WarbyParker so thanks for the heads up. I’ll be sure to stay away when I need to replace my reading glasses.
— Kathy (@Kathy7KLM) September 8, 2021
Boycott @warbyparker. Who needs cancel woke bullcrap.
— Diana X (@DianaX84104989) September 7, 2021
I canceled my order as well. Mostly because they are crazy expensive. Now that I now they are leftists, I will definitely NEVER order from them. Funny how all these leftists make bank on capitalism, but pretend they hate it
— Silence DoesNoGood (@LeighKirk82) September 7, 2021
You know, all you had to do WP, is stay out of politics and make good glasses. Oh well, you purchased whatever comes of this … DumbAsses. 🤓
— Ivoted4DJT_DidYou? (@ivoted4djt) September 8, 2021
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