E.E.O.C. and Wet Seal, an update

One of the things about writing a blog about lawsuits is: if your own lawsuit has a lot of things happening, you’ve got no time to blog. About lawsuits in general or even about your lawsuit.

Which is what happened to me over the past week. But today I’m catching up with newspapers and cooking (fenugreek chicken from genius chef Floyd Cardoz’s brilliant cookbook, One Spice, Two Spice. I’m addicted to fenugreek so arrest me).

The newspaper catchup brought excellent news, from the December 4 New York Times, via Steven Greenhouse. I’d told you earlier that the clothing chain called Wet Seal had been slammed for discrimination, and that one former employee had gone to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with her complaint.

I’ve written previously about the process of going to the E.E.O.C. and I’ve also noted that the E.E.O.C. has gotten more aggressive in pursuing cases that fall within its scope. See this, this, this, this, this and this (if you want more, search here for EEOC).

So it’s really good news that:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in a statement released Monday that Wet Seal, a nationwide apparel retainer for young women, illegally discriminated against a former store manager after one of the company’s executives complained about too many black employees at the manager’s store in Pennsylvania.

Citing unusually blatant evidence of racial discrimination, the director of the commission’s Philadelphia office noted in a “determination” released Monday 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.'”

The commission said it would seek “a just resolution of this matter” through negotiations.

Bravo, EEOC! I appoint myself your official cheerleader.


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