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Wet Seal Reaches $7.5 Settlement Over Racist Allegations

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Discrimination within the work force is not a new issue, but fed up Wet Seal employees decided it was time for something to be done about the injustice. The popular Junior’s clothing store has been accused of discriminating against employees of color. This discrimination is based on the fact that those employees did not have the desired traits of “white” skin, “blue eyes”, and “blond” hair.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been reviewing the case.

Three former managers filed the lawsuit last year, accusing the nationwide retail chain of actively firing and denying raises and promotions to black workers reports Business Insider. One plaintiff, former manager Kai Hawkins, said that her boss threatened to fire her unless she hired more white employees. Another, Nicole Codgell, claimed that she was fired the day after the company’s senior vice president for store operations toured several outlets and sent an email to lower managers, “African American dominate — huge issue.” 

The lawsuit also accused senior vice president Barbara Bachman of commanding managers to “lighten up” the staff in stores serving mainly white customers, and telling one regional manager that she must have “lost her mind” to put a black person in charge of a certain store.

Though the store has settled the lawsuit, Wet Seal has continued to deny the allegations. The company has regarded the settlement as a “no fault resolution of the case”. After paying a large sum of $5.58 million in damages to “current and former African American managers,” Wet Seal  is now required to manage applications in order to ensure that the company is practicing diversity in hiring.

Nicole Codgell, an employee who experienced Wet Seal’s discrimination stated, “Being targeted for termination from a job I loved because of my race was a nightmare.”

One can only hope that others in the work force will also have the courage to step forward and require major corporations to answer for their wrong doings against people of color.

For the full article click here.

Sommer Payne

9 Comment

  1. Kudos to those speaking up this is nothing new check any of those specialty store like EXpress and you will notice an absence of color.

  2. Wet seal I thought that sh it hole was closed down who shops there any more their merchandise looks like crap and this is another reason for blacks to try and own their own businesses come together and open our own shops and shop at black owned store like the foreigners who come to this country do IJS

  3. why is this a surprise , racism will always be a issue in these white corporate retailer's. we as people of color need to start building an establishing our own retail business.

  4. Stop buying their product. If they want White only then let them have White only by not buying Nothing from them. The law suit helped the small few but this does not change the mind set of the owners; STOP BUYING THEIR PTODUCTS!

  5. In corporate america companies can choose not to hire/promote blacks and we can simply stop buying their products–in response. But in the federal sector we cannot stop giving our money–we are told we must pay taxes. While taking and using the money of blacks to pay federal salaries, blacks are not hired/promoted to leadership positions proportionally. In many cases, they are not even hired at the lower levels of government. Run the numbers yourself and you will agree that racism is a major problem in the federal government and your money is being used to promote it.

  6. Great job to the the sisters and brother that stood up for their rights. Wet seal doesn't have to worry about me ever ordering or going in their store for my daughter or and family member. I usually research stores who really don't want to cater to the African American community and once I find them like Starbucks for one I don't bother to give them my $$$$.

  7. Kudoos, Kudoos, Kudoos! For to long we have been silent. What these young ladies did is a historical stand. We have been working and supporting ( covert Racism ). We have and still are supporting it and not doing anything about it. It is time. "When you walk into a retail store, a bank, a lawyers office, a doctors office, the police station, the hosptial, a resturant, any public place and you do not see someone of african descent" before you spend any money you need to ask yourself "Why". It is not the Overt racism we need to fight___ it is the covert suttle.
    racism. If you live in fear it will have you dying in fear. Stand up and do what is right when you know someone is committing ( covert racism ). YOU GO GIRLS!

  8. Congrats to all involved in the wet seal law suit…… ignorance has always been an issue as well as racism…. thank the Lord justice was served… I hope the parties involved get over their hurt and move on….

  9. Dirty Ass Woods! WetDemons I will make it my Bizz not to buy that BS!

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