The store manager for the retail clothing store Wet Seal at the Cherry Hill Mall, a black woman, was recently told that she needs to hire more white employees otherwise she could end up losing her job. These are the allegations that have been made against the Wet Seal chain clothing store in a lawsuit, in which the manager is claiming that racial discrimination occurred. The lawsuit also says that the retail chain often targeted black managers in the store, hoping to have them dismissed and looking to get more white employees in the store.
One attorney, Brad Seligman, is outraged by the behavior of the apparel chain and says that it is quite shocking to think that the store would go along with such discriminatory practices in this day and age. In the meantime, a spokesperson for the Wet Seal retail chain has chosen not to comment on the allegations made against them. The retail chain sells clothing that appeals to the younger generation of individuals and hires around 7,000 employees overall. Seligman believes that there is enough evidence to prove that Wet Seal has, in fact, been discriminatory against black employees in stores in both Maryland and Philadelphia.
It is believed that the senior vice president of the Wet Seal firm, Barbara Bachman, made notes in which she said that African Americans were dominating the store and that was a huge issue for her. In an e-mail message from August of 2008, she was telling a district manager to clean one of the stores out completely, which basically meant get rid of the black employees working as management for the Wet Steal store. Other claims have also been made in the lawsuit, stating that when store managers for the Wet Seal would have to hide their black employees whenever corporate visits occurred.
The law suit was made against Wet Seal from three individuals who once worked as managers for the store in Philadelphia. One of these individuals is Kai Hawkins, who was working at the Cherry Hill Wet Seal for two years, from 2008 until 2010. Hawkins claims in the lawsuit that she was told she had to add diversity to her staff within the next month; otherwise she would lose her job. At the time, the store had six employees who were black, three Hispanic employees, one Asian employee and two white employees. While these three former managers brought on the lawsuit, it is actually designed to represent a number of employees and managers who are currently being discriminated on due to their race. In the