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

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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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Reader Comments

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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