summarizes the class action lawsuit against Abercrombie and Fitch for alleged racial,
ethnic and gender discrimination against employees and job applicants. It is
sponsored by the national plaintiffs' law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. Joining Lieff Cabraser as co-counsel are MALDEF,
APALC and the NAACP
Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. The case received widespread media coverage.
Summary of the Settlement of the Abercrombie & Fitch
Class Action Lawsuit
On April 14, 2005, Judge Susan Illston of 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.
The settlement required 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.
Through a consent decree, 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.
Consent Decree For Abercrombie's Employment
The Consent Decree contained
provisions through 2009 relating to the recruitment, hiring, job assignment, training, and
promotion of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and abercrombie kids employees.
These provisions included:
"Benchmarks" for hiring and promotion of
women, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans. These benchmarks are
goals, rather than quotas, and Abercrombie will be required to report on its
progress toward these goals at regular intervals;
A prohibition on targeting fraternities, sororities, or specific colleges
for recruitment purposes;
Advertising of available positions in publications targeting minorities of
A new Office and Vice President of Diversity, responsible for reporting to
the CEO on Abercrombie’s progress toward fair employment practices (the Office
has already been created, and the VP has been hired and begun work);
The hiring of recruiters focused on and seeking to hire women and minority
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity Training for all employees
with hiring authority;
Revision of Performance Evaluations for managers, making progress toward
diversity goals a factor in their bonuses and compensation;
A new internal complaint procedure; and
Abercrombie marketing materials will reflect diversity by including members
of minority racial and ethnic groups.
“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,'' stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Kelly M. Dermody.
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
in 1972, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a national
law firm of over 60 attorneys with offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. Our lawyers have been
at the forefront of innovative and significant lawsuits advancing the rights
of employees nationwide. We also represent plaintiffs in a wide range of other cases. Learn more about Lieff Cabraser.
and "A&F" are registered trademarks of Abercrombie
& Fitch Co. These trademarks are used for informational
purposes only. This website is in no way affiliated with Abercrombie
& Fitch Co.