The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that Wet Seal subjected African-American employees to race discrimination.
According to the EEOC, one of the nationwide young women’s apparel retailer’s executives complained that too many black employees worked at one of the Wet Seal stores in Pennsylvania.
The EEOC said that Wet Seal’s “corporate managers have openly stated they wanted employees who had the ‘Armani look, were white, had blue eyes, thin and blond in order to be profitable.'”
Former Wet Seal manager Nicole Cogdell had filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, and she and two other African-American former managers filed a race discrimination lawsuit against Wet Seal.
Though the company claims that Cogdell voluntarily resigned, Cogdell alleges that she was forced to quit to avoid the hostile work environment that the Wet Seal had created by laying off numerous black employees at several Pennsylvania Wet Seal stores.