Filed on behalf of some 3,700 employees, the lawsuit claims that the clothing retailer has violated California and federal labor laws by keeping their employees ignorant of the company' financial struggles and impending closure. Wet Seal announced last week that it will file for bankruptcy.
The named plaintiffs, Katelin Pruitt, an employee in a store in North Carolina, and Lalaine Ortega, who worked in Georgia, allege the company failed to tell them about its precarious financial situation.
"Despite strong evidence that Wet Seal was in steep decline, it continued to keep its employees uninformed right up until they abruptly fired 3,695 of their employees,"the lawsuit states. The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of former Wet Seal employees who lost their jobs as a result of the layoffs the company announced January 7, 2015. According to the complaint, the class is seeking 60 days pay and benefits for class members.
The plaintiffs are represented by John Gomez, John Fiske and Stephanie Poli of Gomez Trial Attorneys; Joseph Sauder, Matthew Schelkopf, Benjamin Johns and Joseph Kenney of Chimcles & Tikellis LLP; and Richard Maniskas of Ryan & Maniskas LLP.
The case is Katelin Pruitt et al. v. The Wet Seal Inc., case number 2:15-cv-00312, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.