An Abercrombie clothing lawsuit has led to a $25 million settlement over allegations that employees were required to purchase the clothing they were selling in the store.
Abercrombie Clothing Lawsuit Says Minimum Wage Requirements Weren’t Met
According to the complaint in the Abercrombie clothing lawsuit, the high-end clothing retailer forced employees to purchase the brand’s clothing to wear at work, but employees were never reimbursed for the cost of clothes. The employees alleged that this reduced their overall pay to below minimum wage in violation of wage and hour laws.
Companies often request that employees purchase clothing from the retail store directly in order to distinguish themselves from customers and to advertise the clothing directly. While many use this practice legally, most will provide some form of reimbursement or benefit so as to ensure it does not unreasonably interfere with the wages of the employees.
Employees who are required, out of their own pocket, to purchase clothing items without any reimbursement or support from the store may find that their earnings from working are significantly reduced because of this practice. Ultimately, those employees may pursue a lawsuit holding the company accountable for this behavior if it pushes their wages to below state or federally required minimums.
The Abercrombie clothing lawsuit was initially filed in 2013 but the settlement was achieved at the end of January in Ohio Federal Court. The plaintiffs said that Abercrombie made company-wide phone calls and used other practices that made it clear employees were required to purchase Abercrombie items at their own expense to continue to work for the retailer. One example included an allegation that an employee was fired from the company after failing to purchase the required clothing and then rehired after he obtained that clothing.
The Abercrombie clothing lawsuit led to a settlement including a $16.7 million fund to pay out claims to collective members in the class and additional payments for attorney’s fees, costs, and administrative costs. More than 176,000 proposed class members may be entitled to recovery of part of the settlement from the Abercrombie clothing lawsuit. This includes all nonexempt employees working in Florida, California, Massachusetts, and New York.
The class periods for recovery from the settlement in the Abercrombie clothing lawsuit vary from one state to another but may include workers who were at the company in 2009 through the conclusion of the settlement.
If you believe you have grounds for a wage and hour violation claim, you need to consult with the experienced attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about your options.
The Abercrombie clothing lawsuit is Bojorques et. al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Case No. 2:16-CV-00551-MHW-EPD filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division.
Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.