Wet Seal: Employment Discrimination Law | Free Essay Example

Wet Seal: Employment Discrimination Law

Words: 573
Topic: Law

The case under analysis reveals a violation of employment discrimination law against black employees taking managerial positions at the Wet Seal store. The lawsuits filed against the company, on the one hand, differ from other numerous cases uncovering discriminatory behaviors. One the other hand, the single cases of brining complaints to the court can be united under class-action status because all the plaintiffs addressed the issue of discrimination of African-Americans who did not fit the brand image of the company. The court did not approve the case of class-action status because it was the campaign against Wet Seal that did not promote the companywide policies against all employees.

According to Rule 23, that serves to define whether a class action is approved for adjudicating the measures. There are accurate terms and conditions under which the lawsuits are justified. Both (a) and (b) provisions of the case reveal certain inconsistencies. According to Rule 23 (a) (1), “the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable” (Conyers, 2010 p. 28). However, rule 23 (a) (3) stipulates, “the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims and defense of the class” (Conyers, 2010, p. 28). With regard to the case, there were several plaintiffs who asserted the fact of race discrimination against African Americans. In addition, the case underlines commonalities of discrimination cases in other states and districts, particularly those revealing conflicts at Wall-Mart.

Despite certain controversies highlighted under Rules 23 and 28, the case still reveals a number of ethical and moral concerns. Both plaintiffs, including Nicole Cogdell and Kai Hawkins – the African American former managers of, were offended by Barbara Bachman’s e-mails that contained straight discriminatory reasons for dismissing good employees from the positions. Their positions are justified by Dr. Sullivan, who disagrees with the policy of consumer preferences that identity the discriminatory policies of the company. In fact, consumer requirements should have grounds for exercising race inequality and violating the employment discrimination law. Apart from the accusation imposed by the plaintiffs are also enhanced by the reluctance of the company to recognize any case of inequality. The managers taking senior positions, along with the senior vice president, neglected the request to explain the issue personally. Therefore, looking at the totality of similar cases, the given conflict is worth considering in the court.

On the one hand, the companies are free to establish their policies, mission, and ideology to meet the requirements of customers and increase their profitability and productivity. On the other hand, ensuring a favorable environment for employees and enhancing organizational culture in a company is not less important (Landy & Conte, 2009). In fact, employees are as significant stakeholders as the customers are because they can also influence the success of business. From the viewpoint of industrial and organizational psychology, two sides of the debate can be represented by various defense mechanisms. On the part of the plaintiffs, specific attention should be paid to such aspects as corporate social responsibility, employment equality, and discriminatory laws. On the part of the accused, an organizational psychologist should introduce a new vision for the company that would change the ideology and conception of the brand. For instance, it is possible to reconsider the target consumers and encourage a new vision of the non-stereotypic approach. The brand can introduce new styles for people that would not emphasize uniqueness and exclusiveness, but not establish ideological and fashion boundaries.


Conyers, J. (2010). Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. U. S. Government Printing Office. Web.

Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2009). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. US: John Wiley & Sons.