It appears that Wet Seal hired too many blacks and needed to rectify the situation immediately, so in order to accomplish the task at hand, they fired black employees and replaced them with blue eyed blonde hair employees.
Three former managers at Wet Seal, a nationwide apparel retailer for young women, filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit on Thursday, asserting that the company had a high-level policy of firing and denying pay increases and promotions to African-American employees because they did not fit its “brand image.”
The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., includes a copy of a March 2009 e-mail sent by the company’s then senior vice president for store operations to lower-level managers after she had inspected several stores. The email said, “African American dominate — huge issue.”
One plaintiff, Nicole Cogdell, the African-American former manager of a Wet Seal store in King of Prussia, Pa., said the company terminated her the day after that e-mail was sent. She said that she had heard the senior vice president, Barbara Bachman, tell a district manager that she wanted someone with “blond hair and blue eyes.”
The lawsuit seeks back pay, and general and punitive damages. It also seeks class-action status on behalf of more than 250 current and former black managers at Wet Seal, which has more than 550 Wet Seal and Arden B stores across the nation and is based in Foothill Ranch, Calif.
Another plaintiff, Kai Hawkins, the African-American former manager of a store in Cherry Hill, N.J., said her district manager had told her to hire more white employees or face termination. In the lawsuit, Ms. Hawkins said that she had been offended by Ms. Bachman’s e-mail and that she saw many black employees being “terminated despite doing a good job and without any explanation.”
In a statement issued Thursday, Wet Seal said: “Wet Seal is an equal opportunity employer with a very diverse work force and customer base. We deny any and all allegations of race discrimination and will vigorously defend this matter.”
Mediajuicejoint- As much as I love wet Seal apparel, my pretty black asz will shop else where. I do believe that most establishments share the same sentiments but, when you’re blatant about it and it’s passed around via email or verbally, and brought to the public eye…… Middle Finger to you as I pass right by your establishment.