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EEOC says store manager was victim of racial discrimination

People should not have to face racial discrimination in the workplace. Sadly, instances of racial discrimination still exist. In fact, a former manager of a Wet Seal store in Pennsylvania says she was forced to work in a hostile environment and eventually fired because of her race.

After a three-year investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says they found that executives at Wet Seal Inc. discriminated against the manager because she was black. In fact, an email sent by one executive stated that in order for stores to be successful, workers needed to be thin with blonde hair and blue eyes. The fact that a number of workers at the Wet Seal store were black was described as a "huge issue."

In July, the manager was one of 250 Wet Seal employees to file a lawsuit against the clothing retailer. According to the lawsuit, the retailer denied black employees promotions and even fired them in order to make room for white employees. The ruling by the EEOC could prove to be highly beneficial for the employees involved in the lawsuit.

Often, racial discrimination occurs in subtle ways. However, this specific situation is unique because email evidence shows that executives were open about their interest in hiring more white workers.

It is against the law for employers to discriminate against anyone based on their race. Fortunately, people who believe they are victims of racial discrimination have legal options to pursue. After all, people should be able to work in a peaceful environment free from any form of discrimination.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Wet Seal discriminated against former black manager, EEOC says," Dec. 4, 2012

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