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$25M Settlement Reached in Abercrombie & Fitch Employment Class Action Lawsuit


This is a settlement for the Employment lawsuit.

Los Angeles, CA: A $25 million settlement has been reached in two employment class actions pending against clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. The lawsuits were brought by nearly a quarter of a million hourly workers in California, Florida, New York and Massachusetts who alleged they were forced to buy the clothes they were being paid to sell.

According to court documents, the workers alleged that Abercrombie coerces its employees into buying the brand's clothes to wear at work and that the employees are not reimbursed by the company for the cost of those clothes, which reduces their minimum-wage earnings. The plaintiffs stated that they could prove they were forced to buy clothing with testimony about companywide phone calls and other practices that Abercrombie used.

According to the plaintiffs, Abercrombie required its employees to purchase items from its "AAA Style Guide" booklet containing pictures of specific articles of clothing from Abercrombie's current season.This, the complaints state, essentially constitutes a uniform.

One of the complaint’s amended statements reads "Employees are required to buy and wear the clothing pictured in this booklet." And, "Named plaintiff Alexander Brown was fired from Abercrombie after failing to purchase Abercrombie clothing from the AAA Style Guide and was rehired when he purchased such Abercrombie clothing."

Under the terms of the settlement, $16.7 million will be provided to settle claims from the class and collective members, with the remainder of the funds going to associated costs and fees.

The class includes roughly 176,000 proposed class members and 82,000 collective members under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It covers all non-exempt Abercrombie employees in New York, Florida, Massachusetts and California during a set of class periods that vary by state but begin in 2009 and cease when the proposed settlement wins preliminary approval, according to the settlement documentation.

The cases are Alma Bojorquez et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. et al., case number 2:16-cv-00551, and Alexander Brown et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. et al., case number 2:17-cv-01093, both in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

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Published on Jan-30-18

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Jordan Cox
on
I worked there in 2016, was made to buy there clothes before I could start work there. I got my paperwork and the settlement and the form a I sent it in.

Posted by
Jack
on
Anybody know when we (former employees) will see the funds from this settlement?

Posted by
Delanie
on
I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch for a year, I was recruited by a former manager one day on campus. I was thrilled that they thought I had “the look” or fit the par considering that I was very introverted in high school and at first it was really nice to have that confidence boost. I never thought a company like this would ever accept me, but in a way, I wasn’t wrong about that.
There was an employee discount every few months where your required uniforms were at 50% off any item of the store, with a limit of 10 items, but it only lasted about two weeks. Half the time. I would get paid a day or two after the sale was supposed to end, so in fear I would have to spend more later (the employee discount after this time frame was 20%) for the styles I needed for the new season anyway, I would spend money I shouldn’t of. I would feel the need to buy now. Most of the time, my entire check went into this sale, and even a huge chunk of my second job’s check, and I still couldn’t even get the full 10 items before the sale ended because I simply didn’t have enough.
Looking back now, I feel like I was manipulated in a way, their employee discount made me react and impulsively spend because I didn’t want to spend more on the same item because I waited a few days, and I would buy the pricer outfits so my coworkers would like me and I wanted to fit in, which never really happened, no matter what I wore or how much I tried to involve myself.
The first few months, I enjoyed working there. I always worked the opening shifts; however, I only received roughly 16 hours at least a week. Definitely not enough to compensate for what I had to wear. At first I didn’t mind chipping into my other jobs paycheck to afford the clothes because I thought eventually I would make up for that. That never turned out to be the case.after awhile it defeated the purpose on why I was working two jobs in the first place, I had student loans and working at A&F did not help make ends meet. It was basically like I was working for free at times.
After awhile, I never shook the feeling of being a black sheep amongst my colleagues. I was a decent worker, I was only 18/19, but I specifically remember certain opens where the other opener would sit on the counter playing on her phone while the manager was in the office and I was cleaning the store for the open. I would wipe down the mirrors, sweep, dust, etc and spend that hour preparing to present the store while the other girl was getting paid the same as me to do nothing. Then that same manager gave me the cold shoulder because I would wear my hair up and just have a t-shirt and jeans on (it was 8am, I can’t always look perfect) and favored the girl who didn’t help me open, she clearly had a better relationship with her. It didn’t matter that I was the one that did all the work, apparently I was supposed to focus more on my own personal looks than the their own business’s looks.
That’s when I realized job ethic didnt stand out the way it should, and all the managers cared about was some made-up image that doesn’t actually matter. That’s when I realized I didn’t care what superficial people like that think, and that’s why I’m completely not surprised the company is no longer thriving as a business.
I didn’t really think about this until the settlement was mailed to me, but I’m really thankful that justice is being served here. I didn’t by any means meet minimum wage, that statement alone is an understatement. Even if I got just a portion of what I spent on the uniforms back, I would feel like I could trust my government to do what’s morally just and have faith that big corporations with backwards values aren’t getting away with false enrichment.

Posted by
Sean Muller
on
I have been trying to find the form to fill out since I was forced to buy clothing while working and I really did not have the money, but did not want to lose my job.
The deadline is June 1, 2018, and I have called the phone # on the postcard but no one answers.

Posted by
Mike Hunt
on
Received my packet in the mail.
Worked full-time as an Assistant Manager at a store in Southern Cali.
Definitely know there is a problem with this store, as I know the in's-and-out's of the hiring and recruiting process. No doubt we were HEAVILY influenced to buy their clothes. But not just that... buy their clothes whenever a new AAA catalogue came out, which was essentially every season.
Hundreds of Dollars had to be spend.

Will definitely be getting a piece or this pie whenever checks are issued...

Posted by
Nadia
on
Can anyone give any additional information about the form? I got it in the mail and now I can't find it to send it in. Is there a phone number, email address, or name of the lawyers I can inquire with? I worked in Florida, not sure if there are different forms for various states.

Posted by
Brittany
on
I am glad to see that something is being done. I spent $700 dollars on clothes. I need that money back- the pressure and stress were too much to bare from the store manager and district manager.

Hollister was supposed to be laid back store, instead, it became a nightmare working with these kinds of people in Masscuttes.

Glad to see that more people are talking about this because this it is not right under any circumstances.

Posted by
Destinee
on


Form “A” was that the form with name and last 4 digits of social security?

As well as I paid for ALOTmore clothes then what the website had on my employee card

Posted by
Rachel Ali
on
My hiring manager kept delaying my hiring process. She made me make trips back and forth to the store with ridiculous reasons as to why I couldn’t start working yet. It got to the point where my parents said to me “this is ridiculous”. I actually think she did not want me working there as I was from a Minority ethnic background. I quit the first day. Felt uncomfortable being there. Also, I really thought the fact that I had to purchase clothing from the store prior to when i would have started working there was unfair. Overall, Definitely more to this case than just the clothing situation.

Posted by
Mirqueya medina
on
I wasnt treated fair at all with the amount of hrs provided by ANF. I was hired as full time. And only get 20hts the most a week. I was employed for almost 4 yrs

Posted by
Emily
on
I also received information about this lawsuit in the mail. It seems suspicious because "bojorquez" is spelled incorrectly on the paperwork. And the "Settlement Participation Form" is not labeled as "Form A" and the form asks claimants to access a website (www.retailclothingsettlement.com) to enter information before sending in signed paperwork. Is this paperwork real or fraudulent? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
Jagger B
on
I worked for Hollister during Some of my College years and starting off I didn’t wear a lot of their brand of clothing but quickly had a change in wardrobe with photo shoots happening and trying on different seasonal and new outfits and being encouraged to wear and showcase new clothes at work. Easily prob spent 400+ on new clothing and worked very little each week. And on my last day the store manager had me opening while he was in the back drinking with employees not working that day and some who were working that day just always something I deemed probably not tolerated in the workplace happening

Posted by
Salvatore Sisco
on
My son received the information for the suit. In the paperwork it states you must fill out Form A which was not included in the packet sent. Anyone know where to get one?

Posted by
Morgan Gowdey
on
Is it still possible to get in this class action lawsuit.

I worked there in FL during high school.

Posted by
Pauline Gould
on
I worked for this company three years ago during college. I received a mail with information about this settlement. My experience there was negative. I disliked the poor management of the place. I asked for more hours but was rarely ever scheduled there. I felt always judged especially when they put me in the back to restock clothes. Plenty of people were treated unfairly. I hope this company learned their lesson. No one needs to conform to one mold to be deemed BEAUTIFUL or equal to.

Posted by
Anon
on
I believe we should be reimbursed, I worked at hollister and the managers were racist and colorist and constantly stereotyped people that were unlike them that worked at the store and shopped there. Which led to less money coming into the store they scared away everyone that was a minority with their demeanor and stereopically racist questions and statements. It appears they had the “lighter than a brown paper bag” logic. I a minority spent $300-400 dollars on clothes and I would never get any hours and I had great customer service I came to work on time every day and if I couldn’t I would contact the managers. I believe there is more to this case than buying clothes. The mangers are causing Hollister/Acercrombie and fitch stores to close I think diversity training and having higher education requirements on mangers would fix this issue so this company will stop getting sued so much.

Posted by
Charles Atwell
on
I worked at ambercombie Abercrombie Fitch for a short amount of time have a lot of problems with management resign from the company I was treated unfairly like be included in on this lawsuit

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