Forever 21 gets sued by a lot of people, but usually it’s for things like copyright infringement or stealing designers’ work. The latest lawsuit is coming from inside the corporation, though. Employees Jazzreeal Jones, Jessica Ramos, Shanelle Thompson, Alyssa Elias and Tiffinee Linthicum claim that they were kept after the ends of shifts and during their lunch breaks in order to be searched for stolen merchandise. Because in those cases they had already clocked out, the employees are claiming they deserve to be paid for that time.
If their claim is deemed legitimate, then it could force Forever 21 to pay millions in back wages to other employees who have undergone similar treatment.For their part, the company claims that it’s standard company practice to submit to bag checks before clocking out.
The case is similar to an early one claimed against Polo Ralph Lauren. In that case, it was ruled that the company’s 6,700 California employees were entitled to more than $4 million in back pay for bag checks performed while not on the clock. “Sales associates at Forever 21 stores are often still in high school and under the age of 18 when they begin their employment,” wrote Geoffrey Norton, one of the workers’ lead attorneys, in a statement. “These young people are vulnerable and often do not understand their employment rights. This lawsuit is meant to give these young people a voice about how they were treated while employed by Forever 21 in California.”
Forever 21 refused to comment on the case. [Huffington Post]