Legal News

Former Managers Sue Wet Seal for Bias
Download PDF

On Thursday, three former employees of Wet Seal Inc sued the U.S. retailer alleging racial discrimination against black store managers. The complaint filed in a federal court in Santa Ana, California alleged that “the most senior executives” of Wet Seal followed a “policy and practice” of discriminating against black store managers at Wet Seal stores and at Arden B stores from 2008 because they did not fit the “brand image” of the retailer.

The complaint also quotes, among others, an email sent by a senior vice president of store operations to his subordinates in March 2009 after he completed touring 20 stores in Philadelphia and Maryland: “Store teams – need diversity/African American dominate – huge issue.”

Nicole Cogdell, one of the African-American plaintiffs, claimed that she had been fired from her job at a King of Prussia, Pennsylvania store on the very day that email was sent, though it was only two months since her promotion to the post of store manager. She was replaced by a white employee who had significantly less experience, but was paid much more than she was paid. She mentioned that she had overheard the senior vice president saying she wanted a store manager with “blond hair and blue eyes.”

  
What
Where


The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of more than 250 current and former black managers at Wet Seal. The plaintiffs want back pay and benefits, punitive damages and other remedies. The plaintiffs have not alleged individual bias but have alleged discriminatory company policy rather than holding the situation as a fault of individual managers. That mistake had led to a class of 1 million women being decertified by the Supreme Court in 2011 in a gender bias lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

Wet Seal runs about 470 stores and 83 Arden B Stores in the country.

The case is Cogdell v. Wet Seal Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 12-01138.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!






 

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Attorney with 3-7 years of litigation experience

USA-IL-Chicago

Chicago office of our client seeks attorney with 3-7 years of litigation experience. The candidate s...

Apply Now

Mid-level IP Litigation Attorney with electrical engineering experience

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks mid-level intellectual property attorney with 3-5 years of ...

Apply Now

Mid-level Attorney with environmental/regulatory experience

USA-CA-Sacramento

Sacramento office of our client seeks mid-level attorney with 2-7 years of experience to support its...

Apply Now

Labor and Employment Attorney with 3-4 years of litigation experience

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of our client seeks labor and employment attorney with 3-4 years of litigation ex...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Associate Attorney - Alcohol and Cannabis Law

USA-NC-Raleigh

Strike & Techel LLP, a law firm specializing in alcoholic beverage and cannabis law, is seeking an a...

Apply now

Associate Attorney - Alcohol and Cannabis Law

USA-CA-San Francisco

Strike & Techel LLP, a law firm specializing in alcoholic beverage and cannabis law, is seeking an a...

Apply now

In-House Tax Attorney

USA-FL-Vero Beach

Established national consulting firm, industry leader in all areas of Strategic Tax Planning and Fam...

Apply now

Family Law Associate Attorney

USA-MA-Woburn

Looking for an attorney with 1-3 years domestic relations experience. Candidates must have excellent...

Apply now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top