Equal Employment Opportunity Commission files against - Abercrombie & Fitch

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    Sep 18, 2009 8:22 PM GMT
    I don't get why the gay community supports this company - all it does is promote malnourished white boys. And for those that disagree - look at the ads and look at who sells the clothes in the malls - its rather obvious.
    I have never bought anything from A&F just because I didnt identify with the brand. But just read on...especially the end! And you will see my point. I am very disheartened if the hiring manager did say this to the young lady. She already has to deal with so much living in TULSA!....ughhhh!

    Teen alleges discrimination by Abercrombie & Fitch
    By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer Sean Murphy, Associated Press Writer – Fri Sep 18, 11:38 am ET

    OKLAHOMA CITY – A Muslim teenager claims in a federal lawsuit that she was denied a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch clothing store at a Tulsa mall because she wore a head scarf.

    In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf said she applied for a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in the Woodland Hills Mall in June 2008. The teen, who wears a hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, claims the manager told her the head scarf violates the store's "Look Policy."

    "These actions constitute discrimination against Ms. Elauf on the basis of religion," the lawsuit states.

    A spokeswoman for the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the company has "a strong equal employment opportunity policy, and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible."

    An attorney for the EEOC claims the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination based upon religion in hiring. The EEOC said the lawsuit was filed after the agency attempted to reach a voluntary settlement.

    "It is unlawful for employers to treat applicants or workers differently based on their religious beliefs or practices in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring and job assignments," EEOC senior trial attorney Michelle Robertson said.

    The suit seeks back pay for the teen and a permanent injunction against the retailer from participating in what it describes as discriminatory employment practices. It seeks undisclosed monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from "emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience."

    The suit also seeks punitive damages against the company for its "malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights."

    In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC that accused the company of promoting whites over minorities and cultivating a practically all-white image in its catalogs and elsewhere.
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    Sep 18, 2009 8:43 PM GMT
    They don't try to be subtle about it either. It's pretty rare to see non-white employees at an A&F store. If they do have non-white employees, they work in the backroom moving inventory around.
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:36 PM GMT
    So once again why do so many white gay guys frequent this establishment?

    There's a post going where one guy talked about his credit card bill and as I recall he frequented such a store at least 3 times within the transaction period.

    So once again why?
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:37 PM GMT
    that's why I don't support/buy anything from the A&F branches. Have you read the earlier post that was an interview with the creator of Abercrombie? The guy is a sad man who is still stuck in the whole High School mentality (beautiful people are pretty much the only ones that matter, everyone else isn't. apperantly white is beautiful). to be honest, A&F have clearly stated that they don't have anything fitted for other bodytypes (i.e. fat/curvacious/chubby). i think this contributes to the lively but no-so-spoken-about male anorexia. stupid racist asshole lol
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:39 PM GMT
    inmate_6655321 saidthat's why I don't support/buy anything from the A&F branches. Have you read the earlier post that was an interview with the creator of Abercrombie? The guy is a sad man who is still stuck in the whole High School mentality (beautiful people are pretty much the only ones that matter, everyone else isn't. apperantly white is beautiful). to be honest, A&F have clearly stated that they don't have anything fitted for other bodytypes (i.e. fat/curvacious/chubby). i think this contributes to the lively but no-so-spoken-about male anorexia. stupid racist asshole lol


    And how about the white, gay guys who seem to cannot live without wearing something from them?
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
    I usually get very riled up about workplace discrimination, but I honestly don't have a problem with Abercrombie selecting store "models" (that's what they call their sales staff) based on a look they want to promote. If I applied and got rejected and they told me it was because I didn't fit the look I'd really not have a problem. If anything this sets a precedence allowing someone to start a store that caters to people of color and only hires them as floor "models".

    Also, it baffles me as to why a Muslim girl who wears a hijab would apply to Abercrombie in the first place. Is she going to try Hooters next?
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:46 PM GMT
    Abercrombie is/was racist? Gee, who knew. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Seriously, I didn't even know this store was still relevant. Personally, I think it's rather passe and not as much as a pop culture/fashion icon as it was back in the late '90's.

    Seriously, let them be racist. It's a store that appeals to whites for whites, just as FUBU appeals to urban blacks and is by urban blacks.
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:46 PM GMT
    If companies were allowed to discriminate based on a "look policy", only gay men would be allowed to work.
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    I've never fully understood that either. i know a bunch of gay guys (whites in Miami isn't so common...so gay guys in general) who ALWAYS shop there. i think that it's sad since they're supporting a system of blatent racism. i also think that in turn, when it comes to the gay community, it sort of identifies with a sort of "psuedo-straight" look (very outdoorsy but still stylish). mostly since the models are in homo-erotic poses (a bunch of guys shirtless playing in the water...ok..straight, sure). it might just be a sort of response to that. sad but true
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    Sep 18, 2009 9:55 PM GMT
    What A&F hires:

  • GQjock

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    Sep 18, 2009 9:57 PM GMT
    Go to Old Navy and poke some holes in a pair of sweat pants and you got some Abercrombie couture
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    Sep 18, 2009 10:02 PM GMT
    xrichx saidThey don't try to be subtle about it either. It's pretty rare to see non-white employees at an A&F store. If they do have non-white employees, they work in the backroom moving inventory around.


    Me and my two friends who worked at Abercrombie

    n3316376_42167093_6737461.jpg
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    Sep 18, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    GQjock said Go to Old Navy and poke some holes in a pair of sweat pants and you got some Abercrombie couture

    Abercrombrie couture:

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    Sep 18, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    But some how I think they are in the process of killing of the fickle gay market that seems to be their main market

    Beyonce sued by Abercrombie & Fitch over fragrance

    Fierce is the battle against a pop diva's perfume.

    Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF.N), the apparel chain known for its racy marketing and casual look, has sued Beyonce Knowles to try and stop the singer from launching a new line of fragrances.

    In a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, Abercrombie claims a fragrance under the singer's "Sasha Fierce" label "poses a likelihood of confusion" with the retailer's own "Fierce" brand.

    In English vernacular "fierce" means "cool" or "fabulous."

    Media reports say Knowles, the former Destiny's Child frontwoman whose hits include "Single Ladies," "Crazy in Love" and "If I Were a Boy," plans to start selling a fragrance in early 2010 in partnership with perfumers Coty Inc.

    Abercrombie said such confusion could deprive it of control over a trademark it has used since 2002, and perhaps cost it sales. The lawsuit seeks to halt potential trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.

    But on Wednesday, Coty executives said they do not intend to name the fragrance after Beyonce's alter-ego -- Sasha Fierce -- and hence it would pose no threat to Abercrombie's product.

    "The terms Fierce and Sasha Fierce are not being used as names of a Beyonce fragrance," read a statement from Coty.

    A publicist for Knowles, Alan Nierob, confirmed that.

    Best known for clothing sold to teens and college-age adults, New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie said it has sold more than $190 million worth of fragrance under the Fierce name, and expects $64 million of sales in 2009.

    Abercrombie sells Fierce at more than 350 retail stores and on its website, typically for $40 to $70 in bottles featuring a young man's muscular, nude torso. The fragrance is sprayed throughout stores via a scent machine or by store employees.

    "A&F's intent is that all garments that leave the store have the FIERCE scent attached to them," the complaint said

    The company markets Fierce as a men's cologne whose "fresh citrus aroma" and "warm musky subtleness" will "naturally draw her curiosity because of its seductive nature."

    Abercrombie may have heard that a competing Knowles fragrance was in the works "but it turned out to be wrong," said Jed Wakefield, chair of the trademark litigation group at Fenwick & West, who had no inside knowledge of the case.

    "There are cases where a trademark owner learns about plans by a junior user to start use and they rush into court to get an injunction before it starts," Wakefield said. "That's not uncommon in trademark litigation where there has been pre-release publicity or the like."

    WHO IS MORE FIERCE?

    Knowles, often known solely by her first name, is one of the world's best-known singers, after having risen to fame as lead singer of the group Destiny's Child.

    Last November, her album "I am ... Sasha Fierce" debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. On Sunday, the song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" from that album won the Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards.

    "Single Ladies" bounced back into the spotlight during the recent MTV Video Music Awards, when singer Kanye West bounded onto stage in the middle of an acceptance speech by Taylor Swift, interrupting the singer to say that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" was "one of the best videos of all time."

    The case is Abercrombie & Fitch Co v. Knowles, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Columbus), No. 09-807. (Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Matthew Lewis and Richard Chang)
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    Sep 18, 2009 10:40 PM GMT

    I don't know what's more shameful, their racist store image or the fact that it works as well as it does for them and offends so few.

    The gay community should no better.

    Guys, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Like criminally over priced cotton!!!

    Stupid, stupid, stupid...
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    Sep 18, 2009 10:55 PM GMT
    "emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience."

    are they kidding? she can get minimum wage at any number of other retailers lol i highly doubt it was the low point of her adolescent years

    and i'm sorry, they weren't discriminating against her religion- she was welcome to be a muslim and get hired- she just would have had to conform to the look policy that the company has for a reason, which is that they're branding an image and selling a look. it was her decision not to take her hat off, or look elsewhere. everyone else who works there has to shave, shed all jewelry (even religious pendants- i tried that excuse with my necklace once), adapt 'natural' looking hair styles, hide tattoos, etc. the AF i worked for in high school was very diverse and had more blacks and latinos than caucasians- so the idea that only whites shop/work there is just ignorant and ill-informed.

    besides which, as someone above pointed out, the company addressed their unconventionally particular hiring tastes long ago, when it was questioned initially many years back, by changing the title and work description of their store workers from "brand rep" to "store model," thereby technically hiring "models" who just happen to fold shirts too, and manage registers.... basically, they're hiring people who fit their strictly branded image, and are candid and in the right about it from day one of an application process, which no one is denied.

    companies- especially tightly branded ones- should have the right to hire who they want, with the justification of having a target demographic and a highly organized plan to appeal to them through the brand image. i'm sorry, i don't think less of other races or think abercrombie is necessarily a "good" company, but its a successful one and you have to give credit where its due- there is so much irrational hatred and negativity and resentment and loathing directed in these forums at it, and i can't help but play devils advocate because i think those who get so emotionally invested in hating it are just being silly. besides which, the way PC has robbed everyone of their rights to make their own choices, while trying to give everyone their own choices, really upsets me- i see it as a dangerous trend that a little girl's unreasonably hurt feelings are worth millions of dollars in damages.

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    Sep 18, 2009 11:21 PM GMT
    I am admittedly a free market libertarian. With that said, I think a lawsuit like this is absolutely damn ridiculous.

    Abercrombie has every right to dictate how their employees will dress on the job. I can't go into my job wearing shorts and a t-shirt. And it doesn't matter one whit if I claim it's a religious thing.

    The girl has two choices: Accept that Abercrombie has a policy about their employee's attire and comply, or look for a job elsewhere. Period.

    Too many lawsuits like this are about nothing more than forcing an accommodation that should not have to be made.

    And some of the accusations put against Abercrombie here are just plain ridiculous, and based on personal bias. Like the charge that they don't hire minorities. Hell, I don't shop at Abercrombie but I go in the store here because three of the six guys who work at my local Abercrombie are a hot Asian, a hot black guy, and a hot middle eastern guy. So my anecdote trumps your anecdote.

    And call their models what you will, but they are not malnourished:

    32741.jpg
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:25 PM GMT
    inmate_6655321 saidHave you read the earlier post that was an interview with the creator of Abercrombie? The guy is a sad man who is still stuck in the whole High School mentality (beautiful people are pretty much the only ones that matter, everyone else isn't. apperantly white is beautiful).


    When was this interview conducted? You know Abercrombie & Fitch was founded in 1892 right?
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:26 PM GMT
    skifan08 saidI usually get very riled up about workplace discrimination, but I honestly don't have a problem with Abercrombie selecting store "models" (that's what they call their sales staff) based on a look they want to promote. If I applied and got rejected and they told me it was because I didn't fit the look I'd really not have a problem. If anything this sets a precedence allowing someone to start a store that caters to people of color and only hires them as floor "models".

    Also, it baffles me as to why a Muslim girl who wears a hijab would apply to Abercrombie in the first place. Is she going to try Hooters next?


    +1

    I'm sure she just did this for the sake of the law suit. Suing this company for discrimination appears to be one of the easiest ways to build a small fortune.

    As for the hiring manager... I don't know why she just did not tell her that she did not qualify for the job...

    Remember the guy that applied at hooters only to prove a point? i.e. that he could sue and win on the bases of discrimination based on sex...

    MsclDrew said
    xrichx saidThey don't try to be subtle about it either. It's pretty rare to see non-white employees at an A&F store. If they do have non-white employees, they work in the backroom moving inventory around.


    Me and my two friends who worked at Abercrombie

    n3316376_42167093_6737461.jpg


    kill joy. ^_^

    ---------
    isn't ralph lauren another brand that individuals should not support because the creator is a racist..... along with the anti-marriage equality owner of ebay... and urban outfitters....

    people will not change there shopping habits so easily.



    I stopped eating at subway because they fired a gay porn star because one customer that recognized him threatened to boycott the place.

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    Sep 18, 2009 11:29 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidI am admittedly a free market libertarian. With that said, I think a lawsuit like this is absolutely damn ridiculous.

    Abercrombie has every right to dictate how their employees will dress on the job. I can't go into my job wearing shorts and a t-shirt. And it doesn't matter one whit if I claim it's a religious thing.

    The girl has two choices: Accept that Abercrombie has a policy about their employee's attire and comply, or look for a job elsewhere. Period.

    Too many lawsuits like this are about nothing more than forcing an accommodation that should not have to be made.

    And some of the accusations put against Abercrombie here are just plain ridiculous, and based on personal bias. Like the charge that they don't hire minorities. Hell, I don't shop at Abercrombie but I go in the store here because three of the six guys who work at my local Abercrombie are a hot Asian, a hot black guy, and a hot middle eastern guy. So my anecdote trumps your anecdote.

    And call their models what you will, but they are not malnourished:

    32741.jpg



    yeah. I should sue Best Buy for making me wear a uniform... or all those other locations that call themselves 'family oriented places' and reject people because they don't fit THEIR image...
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:34 PM GMT
    czarodziej said"emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience."

    are they kidding? she can get minimum wage at any number of other retailers lol i highly doubt it was the low point of her adolescent years

    and i'm sorry, they weren't discriminating against her religion- she was welcome to be a muslim and get hired- she just would have had to conform to the look policy that the company has for a reason, which is that they're branding an image and selling a look. it was her decision not to take her hat off, or look elsewhere. everyone else who works there has to shave, shed all jewelry (even religious pendants- i tried that excuse with my necklace once), adapt 'natural' looking hair styles, hide tattoos, etc. the AF i worked for in high school was very diverse and had more blacks and latinos than caucasians- so the idea that only whites shop/work there is just ignorant and ill-informed.

    besides which, as someone above pointed out, the company addressed their unconventionally particular hiring tastes long ago, when it was questioned initially many years back, by changing the title and work description of their store workers from "brand rep" to "store model," thereby technically hiring "models" who just happen to fold shirts too, and manage registers.... basically, they're hiring people who fit their strictly branded image, and are candid and in the right about it from day one of an application process, which no one is denied.

    companies- especially tightly branded ones- should have the right to hire who they want, with the justification of having a target demographic and a highly organized plan to appeal to them through the brand image. i'm sorry, i don't think less of other races or think abercrombie is necessarily a "good" company, but its a successful one and you have to give credit where its due- there is so much irrational hatred and negativity and resentment and loathing directed in these forums at it, and i can't help but play devils advocate because i think those who get so emotionally invested in hating it are just being silly. besides which, the way PC has robbed everyone of their rights to make their own choices, while trying to give everyone their own choices, really upsets me- i see it as a dangerous trend that a little girl's unreasonably hurt feelings are worth millions of dollars in damages.



    Slavery was successful too... And it was also legal at the time.

    The points you made above are all valid and technically correct for the most part. The law will determine how much so. But there's another question and that's whether it's right or wrong.

    The bottom line is they're robbing fools blind by selling shamefully overpriced, tattered clothing to folks who in some cases are hoping it will make them feel like youthful, blond haired white boys (because apparently that's what we all want to be). This may be a successful business model but that doesn't make it right.
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:34 PM GMT
    skifan08 said
    Also, it baffles me as to why a Muslim girl who wears a hijab would apply to Abercrombie in the first place. Is she going to try Hooters next?


    No kidding. That might have been a richer target.

    But sadly, that's not even a joking matter. There was a guy who sued Hooters for discrimination. I think most rational people recognize a meritless lawsuit when they see it.

    hooters-guy.bmp
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:37 PM GMT
    I'm gonna disagree with most of ya'll on this issue. Retailers should have the liberty to hire within the company image in order to promote the brand and sell their products successfully to their target market. Seriously, you're not walking into a GNC and taking advice and purchasing nutrition/health products from a 5ft6, 300 lb couch potato.

    While ANF is always walking the fine line of legality in hiring practices; they'll continue to settle in courts to maintain their brand image. I'm more Northface and Banana Republic than ANF and when I'm shopping in those stores I expect the sales staff to understand why I shop there. It's not just about product quality, knowledge, price point...the overall shopping experience is paramount and the staff image a big part of it.

    I think ANF would benefit from elevating their brand beyond the white twink image. An infusion of diversity would show that the culture transcends race and body composition and shows that youthful beauty is multi-dimentional. That might help their current double digit negative sales comps.
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:37 PM GMT
    my partner and I went there about 5 years ago...and a little white boy sales clerk wouldnt even wait on us or ring up our purchase. When we finally decided to leave I just dropped the clothes on the floor, and then and only then did he speak and it was a couple of curse words.
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    Sep 18, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
    GFORCE said
    The bottom line is they're robbing fools blind by selling shamefully overpriced, tattered clothing to folks who in some cases are hoping it will make them feel like youthful, blond haired white boys (because apparently that's what we all want to be). This may be a successful business model but that doesn't make it right.

    Cry me a river. Is anyone forcing anyone to buy from Abercrombie? No.

    What is overpriced? If someone is willing to pay $100 for a shirt, it's not overpriced to them. You might have the good sense not to pay that, but you only get to make those decisions about your own purchasing habits, not the purchasing habits of others.

    You say, "it doesn't make it right"? What makes it wrong? There's a willing seller and a willing buyer. Neither of which is you. Why are you a party to this transaction?