Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tiffany & Co. Is Being Sued for Firing Ex-Employee Over Religious Comments About Jews and Jesus

Getty Images: Spencer Platt

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

There could be a snag in Tiffany & Co.'s efforts to rebrand itself this year. Months after appointing Vogue's Grace Coddington as its new creative partner and teaming up with Net-A-Porter on an exclusive e-commerce deal, the heritage jewelry brand is now tangled in a lawsuit with a former employee over religious reasons.

According to the New York Daily News, the company is reportedly being sued by Kristin Rightnour, its former director of marketing, who claims she was discriminated against — and later lost her job — for making a comment to her colleagues that Jewish people killed Jesus.

A self-proclaimed devout Catholic, Rightnour says she was fired and denied a $42,000 bonus over a casual conversation she had with her colleagues around the 2014 Easter holidays.

According to her lawyers, Alexander Coleman, Mike Borrelli and Pooja Bhutani, of Borrelli and Associates P.L.L.C, it was Rightnour's Jewish colleague who asked her and another Catholic co-worker about Easter and the crucifixion.

Later that August, Rightnour's lawyers say she was put on one-year probation after one of her colleagues complained about her remark that "the Jews killed Jesus." When she made a complaint about her punishment, Rightnour claims Tiffany & Co. retaliated by giving her a less than favorable performance review.

"What you have here is an employer engaging in a systematic, yet brutally transparent, scheme to punish an accomplished management-level employee for raising a good faith complaint — that she was treated disparately because of her religion," said Rightnour's lawyer, Alexander Coleman, in a statement to the Daily News.

Although Rightnour's allegations stem from over two years ago, her LinkedIn still says she is an employee there. The recent resurgence comes at a problematic time for the jewelry house, which is struggling to boost its fashion cred amongst a new wave of young consumers.

We've reached out to Tiffany & Co. for comment, but either way, this definitely isn't a headline Tiffany wants right now.