Last week, teen clothier Wet Seal closed more than 300 stores, giving very little notice to nearly 3,700 affected employees. Only 173 stores and Wet Seal's online business will remain open. Just prior to the closings, Wet Seal distributed a script to management describing how to break the news. The script and the lack of notice have resulted in a lot of negative attention for the company. Workers protested with signs in store windows and an active Twitter campaign claiming that Wet Seal is unfair to its workers.
Wet Seal was the subject of controversy in 2013 as well, when it suffered boardroom drama and a race discrimination suit. The suit, which began with a probable cause finding by the EEOC and ultimately settled for $7.5 million, claimed that the store routinely discriminated against African Americans because they do not fit the “Armani look” (i.e. white, blond, thin, and blue-eyed).
In other developments:
- American Apparel instituted a new sexual harassment policy after terminating its beleaguered CEO.
- Intel pledged $300 million to increase diversity in the technology industry.
- While reading emails hacked from Sony Pictures, Charlize Theron learned that a male co-star was to be paid more money than she was for a film. So, she asked for a raise.
- Robin Schooling reminded us to keep the “human” in human resources and not to rely solely on big data.
- The Morgan Stanley employee accused of stealing data on 900 of the firm's wealth management clients said he’s sorry.
- The King’s Shilling covered the 10 steps to selling terrible software to HR departments.
- Concerned that public servants weren’t coming to work, India instituted biometric attendance monitoring which allows the public to find out if public employees are at work.
Wage and Hour
- A Pittsburgh restaurant has banned tips and instituted salaries for its employees.
- The insurance industry won a temporary exemption from the FLSA.
Posted by: Kate Bischoff