Racial discrimination at the workplace is, unfortunately, becoming common. It exists in workplaces across the world. With globalization and better work opportunities, people are traveling across to other countries and settling down. Their culture, traditions, interests, beliefs differ from that of the locals and this leads to a conflict of interest, of sorts. This can lead to racial discrimination at places of work, community, schools and so on. On April 14, 2005, the class action lawsuit Gonzalez v.
Abercrombie & Fitch, was granted final approval settlement. The settlement requires the retail clothing giant to pay $50 million, less attorneys’ fees and costs, 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. Abercrombie & Fitch 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. The settlement agreement also contains provisions related to the recruitment, hiring, job assignment, training, and promotion of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and Abercrombie Kids employees. The provisions include; • A new Office and Vice President of Diversity, responsible for reporting to the CEO on Abercrombie’s progress toward fair employment practices. • The hiring of 25 recruiters who will focus on and seek women and minority employees. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Training for all employees with hiring authority. • A new internal complaint procedure. • Abercrombie marketing materials that will reflect diversity by including members of minority racial and ethnic groups. In addition, Abercrombie created a $40 million Settlement Fund for distribution to individual class members. This will total approximately $10 million, bringing the total amount Abercrombie must pay to approximately $50 million.
The young men and women who applied to work at Abercrombie should have been judged on their qualifications, and not their skin color or gender. The class action settlement compensates class members for being subjected to the challenged practices and ensures that Abercrombie will improve its employment practices and diversity efforts nationwide. Given that Abercrombie is a nationwide store, only proves that even today discrimination is very common and everyone should take a stand against it.
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