Forever 21 facing discrimination suit
Forever 21 is facing yet another lawsuit. Spanish speaking employees of the brand are claiming Forever 21 has been blatantly discriminating against them. The employees state that they were verbally harassed for speaking Spanish to Spanish-speaking customers.
The allegations have been filed with the United States Department of Fair Employment and Housing. According to the filings, Forever 21’s "English-Only policy prohibited [its] employees from speaking any language other than English during work hours, including during employee rest breaks [...] and was enforced primarily against its Spanish-speaking employees.”
Francisco Leon, Ignacio Martinez and Freddy Tovar, who filed the suit, claimed that they were verbally abused by two managers, specifically assistant manager of merchandising Amanda Harris and stock manager Luis Morales, for assisting Spanish-speaking customers in their native tongue.
Harris allegedly told an employee she wished he would “electrocute himself while replacing a lightbulb”.
When Leon, Martinez, and Tovar spoke to HR about the abuse, HR was dismissive, reducing the hours of the employees for speaking out about the abuse. The accusations further claim that the three "suffered past and future lost wages [and] suffered emotional injuries, including but not limited to, emotional distress, anxiety, frustration, humiliation, mental anguish, nervousness, and other non-pecuniary losses.”
Forever 21 has been under fire before for mistreating employees. In 2015, a transgender female filed a harassment suit. In 2016, a male employee in a New York location filed a discrimination suit. Furthermore, in 2013, a group of employees filed a wage violation suit, claiming Forever 21 failed to properly compensate employees, and that managers forced employees to work through meals and breaks.
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