Personal Injury Blog


EEOC Concludes Wet Seal Discriminated against African-American Workers

Monday, December 10, 2012

Decades after the passing of civil rights laws, California employment lawyers find that discrimination against people of color continues to exist in the American workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission has now concluded that clothing retailer Wet Seal discriminated against African-American employees. According to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, corporate managers at the company openly stated that they preferred employees who had a certain look that was predominantly white, blond, blue-eyed and thin.

The investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunities Omission was triggered after the chain fired a store manager called Nicole Cogdell. Cogdell was terminated from employment, along with at least 3 other black employees.

According to the complaint against Wet Seal, the termination came soon after a Wet Seal senior vice president inspected several stores in the area, and came to the conclusion that the store staff was dominated by African-Americans. She allegedly sent out an e-mail to the other executives of the company, with the subject” African-Americans dominate-huge issue.”

Cogdell filed a lawsuit claimed that the store that she ran was one of the most profitable stores for Wet Seal, and that this termination was based on her color. According to her lawsuit, even though she had an exemplary track record, she was determined as being “not right” for the chain. She complained to the higher-ups at the chain about this treatment, and many other African employees at the chain also wrote to Cogdell, claiming that they were subjected to racial bias of the chain.

However, Wet Seal ignored those complaints, and took no corrective or remedial action. The employment discrimination lawsuit that Cogdell filed against Wet Seal is seeking class-action status.