LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three former employees of Wet Seal Inc. have filed a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against the teen clothing store operator, claiming management set out to fire African-American employees because they didn't fit the retailer's "brand image."
The complaint was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California and seeks class-action status.
The plaintiffs are Nicole Cogdell, Kai Hawkins and Myriam Saint-Hilaire. All live in Delaware County, Pa.
Cogdell and Hawkins were store managers when they were fired by Wet Seal. Saint-Hilaire was an assistant store manager.
They are asking the court to order they be rehired, and paid lost pay, benefits, compensatory and punitive damages.
Wet Seal, based in Foothill Ranch, Calif., denies the allegations and says it will mount a vigorous defense.