Family Owned / Religion based Companies

Posting this topic as I am reading more and more into the Supreme Court ruling regarding an employer being able to determine whether they want to offer services based on there religion.

I’ve worked for a company, where it was a part of the religious custom for the employees to sign a card, during the holidays and give the owner money, thanking him for employment. I have also worked at a place and was advised by my director, that it would be frowned upon if I didn’t celebrate Diwali with everyone. I knew nothing of Diwali, but had to pray and participate with the entire staff. It was memorable being forced to do this.

My last employer had numerous family members and friends, no education or experience, employed at the company, in roles, where anyone skilled should have been given the opportunity.

There are more of these companies existing that big ones where this would happen, so how do we deal?


@yneedsajob you had to give your employer money?? I have never heard of such foolishness in my life!! Made to pray?? Are you kidding me!! I’m sure there are a few labor laws that have been broken from your experience. Ppl think the Devil Wears Prada is how the fashion industry is. No no that’s a movie about a magazine that writes about fashion. The actual industry is far worse…


You know, I thought I’d heard all the stories in this industry like this, but this one… this is a whole new level. May I ask, perhaps naively, was this in the US? (only because I am most familiar with employment laws in the US.)
I thought that the pressure to give gifts at the Holidays was bad in some of my past jobs, but this is a new one. Cash to your employer?

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Care to give us company names?

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What? Is this even legal? Did you know about this before you got hired at this company? Forced to give money that you made back to the owner is just wrong. (of course not all of it)

exactly! Its a volatile industry with no regulation


All in New York!! They are a handful of big corporate places and hundreds of small places that do whatever they want.


KrazyKat was where I was forced to celebrate Diwali, I believe they are still in business, but lost all of there Missy Tops Private label business and now they just sell scrubs. Diwali is celebrated over days, and i remember the second day, the office closed and we all had to group together to ride to the new jersey warehouse, circle an alter, pray, and feast together.

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And I was a freelancer, and I remember being handed the card, asking what was it for, being told all of this, and I just passed to the next person, politely.


That has not happened to me. But completely on topic, there is something specific to NYC fashion companies that are family owned and part of the same community. You cannot go from one company to the next. It’s possible the company you’re applying to may tell your owner. That owner may fire you. It sounds crazy if you’re not a part of the industry, but it’s true. A lot of places will make you quit first before getting hired. It’s a real thing, and they definitely don’t teach this to you in school, but once you’re in the biz, you definitely learn fast.


There is a topic about the Syrian Blacklist you may want to check out.

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It would be great if you shared your experience at Krazy Kat in the Employer Reviews section.

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It’s based on a who’s who in the community. I left a job as a design director, the owner didn’t want me to go, he was one of the more respected members of the community and I couldn’t get hired by another company run by a lower ring member. But when interviewing, they asked tons of questions about his business that I wouldn’t answer. It’s like price fixing for employees.


Very real that’s how they keep salaries low. They control the whole market

Tell the truth and put a name o the “community”. I know who you are talking about! Let’s dare discuss who they are and how they monopolize the industry in NYC. I had one of them from the “community” (since we are speaking in code) you know the ones that go from company to company to collect the money - would wait for me outside of the Empire State Building and aggressively pursue me and was not shy about what his intentions were! I was like, ain’t this some shit!

Former Childrens Place CEO and then RUUM also Nina Shoes and now RUUM is gone and I think they’re trying for subscription? KidPik??
Very Orthodox. Very stifling. Jewish holidays matters, national “Christian” ones did not. It oozed into all marketing and branding: no leg, no bare feet, no shoulders, no swimsuits, little or no makeup, conservative hair in any content whatsoever. Try to create content with an Orthodox lens? You get lots of below neck to the knee shots and zero intrigue, interest.
And the entire family is woven in - and yes, snide remarks, lots of “insider” only decisions and promotions, those with no experience or business fortitude but are more regarded than any employee of real “substance” and value.
Honestly, you can always go to the Labor Board, higher discrimination lawyers with PROOF to support and substantiate the wrongful biases, but it’s another FT job itself. I think you either are the person who can withstand a “single sector” culture or you’re not. Best to know this about yourself, and hopefully make the decision in advance before taking the job.

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I’m thinking it’s been removed. I just did a search…no where to be found on this site. :thinking:

Seems to have been removed which has now made me question this site’s willingness to let ppl talk bout real issues… Seems like you can’t criticize without being seen as anti-(insert group). I think some ppl took offense with the thread being called the Syrian Jewish Blacklist. To which I commented had it been another nationally/ religious group that would have been its name. And more so than that the real issues were what was being talked about in the thread. Awful practices some I’m sure illegal. And if this isn’t the place to talk about them then what’s the point of this whole thing???

Nothing has been deleted. We did suspend a user who was being mean and belligerent to other users. After a while, that person’s comments may be deleted by the system but they weren’t immediately.

I’m not Jewish, but when I first moved to NYC after university, I had numerous people of ALL ethnic and religious groups (some even Jewish) who told me about the things that go on within many family owned organizations…GOOD & BAD things. By no means am I painting everyone with one brush, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to have numerous separate conversations (with different people who aren’t even friends) about particular companies over a 15 year period…but none of what is being said is true…yet it’s basically the same things said?! Mind you, it wasn’t even me initiating the conversations! I’ve even been warned by recruiters about certain companies…even current and prior Managers and Directors at said companies.

While in theory, this is suppose to be a safe space for people to be transparent with their experiences, there’s no way to be certain what is being said isn’t somehow communicated with members of particular companies. Also, considering the way we have access to this site is by submitting our fashion resumes, ANY person in the industry can sign up and see what is being written. And who says the people running the site aren’t friends/colleagues with members of companies such as HR/Talent Acquisition, business owners and other Senior and C-Suite Execs…one never knows. That’s why it is very important to form relationships with people (of all ethnicities and even job titles) within your industry where you can have “off the record transparent conversations.”

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