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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.
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