Successful Wage Lawsuits Against Clothing Stores in California
Fashion and apparel companies can steal wages from workers in many different ways, including not paying employees for all hours worked, keeping final wages from terminated employees, and requiring employees to spend money in-store. In the last few years, many retailers have settled class action lawsuits for their misdeeds, including:
In June 2017, Victoria’s Secret agreed to a $12 million settlement to reimburse employees who were not paid for time spent on-call. According to the suit, managers would over-schedule shifts and require employees to call the store before the scheduled shift to see whether or not they would be needed for work. If the employees were not needed, they were not compensated for the time they spent waiting. This was a violation of California state labor laws, which require that employees be paid "reporting time" for on-call shifts.
California Bebe employees accepted a $2 million settlement for unpaid overtime in 2017. The class action lawsuit alleged that the clothing store violated several California labor laws, including paying less than minimum wage, overtime miscalculation, lack of rest breaks, late wages, and failure to provide itemized wage statements.
A former employee at an Ann Taylor location in Los Angeles spearheaded a class action that grew to include over 8,000 workers. Employees accused the retailer of wage theft, failing to provide meal breaks, and failing to provide final wages at termination. The company agreed to end the lawsuit in 2017 by paying a $3.5 million settlement to employees in the case.
Abercrombie & Fitch
In 2018, Abercrombie & Fitch proposed a $25 million settlement to compensate employees who were required to buy the company’s clothing as a condition of employment. Over 250,000 employees in the case attested that the retailer required them to purchase the brand's clothing and footwear at least five times a year, lowering employees' pay to below minimum wage.
If you and your fellow employees are being mistreated, you may be eligible to form a class action to recover lost wages and penalties. To find out whether your employer may be guilty of wage theft, please feel free to learn more about your rights in our FREE book, California Truck & Delivery Driver Wage Theft: The Ultimate Straight Talk Guide to Getting Your Hard Earned Wages Back