$50 Million, Less Attorneys' Fees and Costs, Paid to Class Members
in December 2005 in Abercrombie & Fitch Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement
|To report any concerns regarding discrimination by Abercrombie, please contact the Monitor, Fred Alvarez, at (650) 493-9300.
|In December 2005, the Claims Administrator in the
Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch discrimination lawsuit settlement
sent award checks to the over ten thousand class members who submitted valid
claim forms in accordance with the process set forth by the Court in the April
2005 settlement order.
|Checks ranged in size from several hundred dollars
to several thousand dollars, in proportion to Class members' damages and their
contributions to the prosecution of the case.
|If you have moved since you submitted your claim form,
it is possible that a check was mailed to your past address. Please note that
the checks became void after June 15, 2006, regardless of when they are received.
|The Importance of Standing Up to Discrimination
in the Workplace
|Our attorneys have prosecuted and continue to investigate
large-scale employment discrimination class actions. We have represented individuals
and large classes of workers and applicants against companies in retail, financial
services, food & beverage, transportation, and other industries who have
discriminated on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, and other grounds.
|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 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 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.
|Ongoing Consent Decree Governs Abercrombie's Employment
Practices into at Least 2009
|The Consent Decree (settlement agreement) contains
provisions related to the recruitment, hiring, job assignment, training, and
promotion of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and abercrombie kids employees.
The Decree is effective immediately, pursuant to the Court's order. An appointed
Monitor will regularly evaluate and report on Abercrombie’s compliance
with the provisions in the Consent Decree. These provisions include:
- "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 25 recruiters who will focus on and seek women and minority
employees. (At least 24 of the 25 have already been hired, and are working.);
- 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.
|In addition, Abercrombie created a $40 million
Settlement Fund for distribution to individual class members. Abercrombie will
also pay attorneys' fees and costs associated with monitoring compliance during
the time that the Consent Decree is in effect (4.5 to 6 years from Final Approval,
depending on Abercrombie’s progress). This will total approximately $10
million, bringing the total amount Abercrombie must pay to approximately $50
million. Click here to read the court-approved
Consent Decree [pdf format]. The provisions
in the Decree are currently in effect.
|“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,'' commented 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. We represent plaintiffs in federal and state
courts across America in employment discrimination cases. Our lawyers have been
at the forefront of innovative and significant lawsuits advancing the rights
of employees nationwide. To learn more about Lieff Cabraser, click here.
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.