If you follow this blog regularly, you know that racial discrimination is illegal in the workplace. If the behavior is suspected, it can cause employees to file civil actions against an employer in Indiana. If the employees believe the behavior is widespread and systematic, they can move to have the employment litigation transformed into a class action suit. This is the case with employees of Wet Seal, a clothing store, who have recently filed a class action case against the company.
According to reports, the clothing store purposely employed race discrimination against its black employees. The lawsuit claims the company, which owns stores catering to young women, fired and denied promotions to black employees in favor of taking on white workers. The allegations claim that the employees were fired to maintain a company-wide ‘brand image.’ The plaintiffs’ attorney is attempting to gain class-action status on behalf of over 250 Wet Seal employees working at the management level.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer cited a 2009 email from the senior vice president of store operations at that time. The email was sent to subordinates and purportedly contained evidence of racial discrimination from the highest levels of management. There were also other alleged incidences in which workers claimed to have experienced racial discrimination.
Racial discrimination is an unaccepted practice within the workplace. If employers engage in this illegal practice, workers should be compensated for their losses. As this case carries on, it will be interesting to see Wet Seal’s response to such horrific allegations.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “3 former Wet Seal managers file bias lawsuit,” Shan Li, July 13, 2012