Ex-Wet Seal Managers Claim The Company Called The Number Of Black Employees A 'Huge Issue'

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By Abby Rogers


Three ex-Wet Seal managers filed a lawsuit alleging shocking bias against black employees, claiming one manager was ordered to hire more whites or be fired.

The former managers -- who filed the federal race discrimination lawsuit on Thursday in California -- are hoping to turn it into a class-action suit, The New York Times reported Thursday.The lawsuit alleges rampant racism in all ranks of the company, which manufactures clothing for teen girls.

In one such instance, a former senior vice president allegedly sent an email around to low-level managers complaining that black employees "dominate" some stores, which was a "huge issue."

Former manager Nicole Cogdell told the Times she was fired the day after then-senior vice president Barbara Bachman sent the email.

Cogdell also reported overhearing Bachman saying she wanted an employee with "blond hair and blue eyes."

Kai Hawkins, a former store manager in New Jersey told the Times her district manager ordered her to hire more white employees or she would be fired.

Both Cogdell and Hawkins are black.

Wet Seal did not respond to the Times' requests for comment.



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