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Do we have a class action case against Abercrombie & Fitch for discrimination and defamation?

Los Angeles, CA |

Several of my coworkers and I across 2 different states went through similar situations that humiliated us so horribly that we ended up quitting our jobs. Each situation consisted of a loss prevention rep who wrongfully accused us of some terrible act such as theft or embezzlement, stating they had video surveillance. None of us had ever committed such acts and the final result of each interrogation was a final warning write up for something like lack of performance. Because of the hostility involved in the interviews, we were made to feel like criminals and other coworkers knew what we were being accused of. All of us quit because we were humiliated and traumatized. The company is known for not promoting minorities and it is believed that this is a way to get rid of them.

Attorney Answers 4


"Class action" is a term that is often misunderstood. A few of you or "several" co-wokers, most likely, would not make a "class action" which requires many more victims of an unlawful act. If your legal rights were violated, you can pursue your claim alone or if your co-workers experienced similar violations, you can all be represented by an attorney, but it is not necessarily a "class action." You don't need a "class" (thousands) of victims to pursue your rights. You don't state specifically if you and/or your co-workers were accused of "terrible acts" BECAUSE of your race or any other characteristic of a protected class (age over 40, race, gender, religion, pregnancy, medical condition, etc). It is unlawful to harass and/or discriminate against a worker because they are a member of a protected class. IF the company believed that any of you embezzled or stole from them, of course, they can fire you and/or write you up for it. If you believe you were discriminated against because you are a member of a protected class, call an employment law attorney to discuss.

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This would not be considered a class action but if you and others feel like they were treated differently due to their race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, or disability, then you would have a legitimate cause of action against A&F. Maybe all of you who have been discriminated against could bunch your cases into one case if that is what you are meaning when you say "class action." A lot of us on here give free consultations to point you in the right direction. Best of luck.

Free consultation. Direct line- (310) 498-1821 .24/7. Video/Phone/In-Person. I provide my clients with honest, thoughtful advice and diligent, vigorous representation in a number of practice areas. I serve Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties. I wouldn't take any of my answers on as legal advice since there are still too many factors that need to be discussed before I can give you a reliable opinion.

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Agree with the prior answers - you need a very large group to have sufficient numbers for a court to agree to treat a case as a class action. There is no exact lower limit, but 40 is generally said to be the minimum.

Also, everybody needs to truly be in a similar situation, not just sort of similar for a case to become a class action. Often, employment cases are not good for class actions as there are too many individual issues.

You can and should consult a local employment attorney who will be able to evaluate any possible claims you have.

Many offer free consultations. You can find one here on Avvo, or you can use the attorney search function from the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), a group that specializes in representing employees.

Best of luck.

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Different views result from a different perspective:

This is a huge publicly-traded company and the vast majority of its retail sales workers are very young, very inexperienced and -- truth be told -- hired for their look and style, not their experience or skills. This company has substantially greater than average (for the retail industry) losses and shrinkage in inventory and receipts, perhaps because of the criteria that drive internal hiring decisions.

The fact that LP has accused and investigated sales floor employees suspected of unethical conduct in 2 states and not been proven correct does not create legal liabilities against the employer in favor of the employees, collectively or individually. When an employer suspects theft or improper conduct, the employer has the right (and obligation if it is a publicly-held company, as here) to investigate and take other appropriate action.

You weren't fired, wrongfully or otherwise; you weren't accused based on any prohibited criteria. You quit because you didn't like the tenor of the investigative process, but that process goes with the territory in retail.

And what does any of this have to do with promoting minorities? Were you denied a promotion? Was the company blindfolded when it hired the minority staff? Why, in an at will employment state, would the company have to go to such lengths and labor-intensive shenanigans to get rid of employees it didn't have to hire in the first place? Employees who can be terminated without any reason whatsoever at a moment's notice?

As other counsel have said, this is not a class action. On the facts as you have summarized them, it most likely is not any kind of sound legal action.

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