Thursday, June 5, 2008


Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is a clothing retailer marketing to young adults, teenagers and children. It employs over 22,000 employees, most of whom are college-age adults, in over 700 stores throughout the United States. According to, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to a settlement of the class action lawsuit Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch on April 14, 2005. The settlement requires A & F to pay $40 million dollars to Latino, African American, Asian American and female applicants and employees who charged the company with discrimination. The settlement also requires the company to institute a range of policies and programs to promote diversity among its workforce and to prevent discrimination based on race or gender.

The lawsuit alleged that the retail giant hires a disproportionately white sales force, favors white employees for the best positions, and discourages minorities from even applying for jobs. "The greeters and the people that worked in the in-season clothing, most of them white, if not all of them, were white," says one former employee. "The people that worked in the stock room, where nobody sees them, were mostly Asian-American, Filipino, Mexican, Latino."

In its Fifth Avenue flagship store, racially diverse employees are quite visible, including the greeter pictured above. The four-story, 36,000-square- foot retail store is located at 720 Fifth Avenue.

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