Two lawsuits claiming racist discrimination: Wet Seal and Wells Fargo

It’s been a while since I’ve had significant lawsuit news. Yesterday’s Times provides two stories.

I’ve never heard of the Wet Seal stores. I’ll certainly not be shopping in them, even if I knew what they sold and where I could find one. If you read this entire article (by Steven Greenhouse) you will once again be stunned to learn that workplace prejudice lives on, and lives on so nakedly. (Wet Seal sells woman’s apparel but the naked reference wasn’t really a pun. At least not a conscious one.)

Indeed, in the second paragraph, you’ll see the smoking gun that should down Wet Seal. It’s an e-mail. Look for it and you’ll smack your forehead that a senior vice president of anything could be so stupid, never mind so ugly of character.

This is probably going to be a class action lawsuit. Write down the names of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. You may need them some day. They are Brad Seligman (who also represented women plaintiffs against Wal-Mart) and Nancy DeMis, along with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc.

And then Charlie Savage dissects “Wells Fargo Will Settle Mortgage Bias Charges” against “black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. If approved by a federal judge, it would be the second-largest residential fair-lending settlement in the department’s history.”

Now, isn’t this the same Wells Fargo that almost collapsed entirely until saved by TARP, to great screaming and yelling? I guess I’m glad they were saved — and are now making a fortune again (Wells Fargo Profit Rises 13%, as Revenue Increases – — because they have the money to settle this lawsuit.

And let’s give a bravo to the irrationally maligned Justice Department and its civil rights division. Bravi, James Cole and Thomas Perez, as well as Attorney General of Illinois Lisa Madigan and the comptroller of the currency, Thomas Curry.

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