Wet Seal, a popular nationwide clothing store for young women, illegally discriminated against a former store manager, according to a statement released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The former manager, Nicole Cogdell, and two other black former Wet Seal managers filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit against the company last July.
The director of the commission’s Philadelphia office noted that Wet Seal’s “corporate managers have openly stated they wanted employees who had the ‘Armani look, were white, had blue eyes, and were thin and blond in order to be profitable,” according to the ruling.
Senior Vice President of Operations Barbara Bachman, after visiting stores in the Maryland and Philadelphia markets, including Cogdell’s, distributed an email stating under “Global Issues” that “Store Teams – need diversity African Americans dominate – huge issue.”
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