By// Mariah Craddick
Wet Seal has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action discrimination lawsuit filed against them stemming from claims brought by three African-American employees who accused the store of firing them because they “didn’t fit the store’s image.” According to the Denver Post, at least $5.58 million of the damages will go to current and former African-American managers.
The suit, filed by Nicole Cogdell, Kai Hawkins and Myriam Saint-Hilaire, claimed that former Wet Seal executives denied equal pay and promotion opportunities or terminated African-American store managers nationwide.
“Being targeted for termination from a job I loved because of my race was a nightmare,” Cogdell said in a statement issued through the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “It was important for me to be a force for change, but I could not have done it without the support of other employees who spoke out against discrimination. Wet Seal has now committed to strong, fair policies because we took a stand. I hope these changes will create opportunities for all deserving employees, regardless of their race.”