Wet Seal to settle Pennsylvania race discrimination suit for $7.5 million

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From Clutch Magazine:

Wet Seal has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action discrimination case that originated when three African-American store workers from Delaware County filed a complaint last year claiming Wet Seal, Inc. fired them because they didn’t fit the store’s image. Of that total amount, $5.58 million will go to current and former managers who are African-American.

In 2009, Nicole Cogdell, a manager at Wet Seal’s King of Prussia store, pulled together her team to welcome visiting corporate staff. Cogdell said she overheard an executive vice president tell a district manager during the visit that Cogdell “wasn’t the right fit for the store” and that the vice president “wanted someone with blonde hair and blue eyes.”

Cogdell was fired days later and was told by her district manager that she was fired for being African-American.

In one email, an executive wrote: “Store Teams – need diversification African American dominate – huge issue.”

Cogdell issued a statement through the NACCP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“Being targeted for termination from a job I loved because of my race was a nightmare,’ Cogdell said in the statement.

Read the rest of this story on Clutch Magazine.