BUSINESS
07/22/2015 02:44 pm ET

Why 62,000 Abercrombie & Fitch Employees Are Suing The Company

A lawyer for the plaintiffs explains the case.

From refusing to make clothes for plus-sized women to mocking Taylor Swift to not hiring a Muslim job applicant because she wore a hijab, Abercrombie & Fitch has managed to upset a lot of people in recent years. And it's not over yet: The company is currently facing another high-profile lawsuit over its "look policy," which dictates how employees may and may not present themselves at work.

Last week, a California federal judge certified a class-action suit for approximately 62,000 Abercrombie & Fitch employees who claim they were forced to purchase the company's clothes to wear on the job. Reed Marcy, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, joined HuffPost Live on Monday to outline the case.

According to Marcy, employees were treated wrongfully in two different ways. The first is a claim of "compelled purchases," meaning the company forced workers to buy new Abercrombie clothes "each time a new sales guide came out" -- a violation of the state's labor codes. The suit further alleges the retailer failed to reimburse employees despite obligating them to wear a specific "uniform" -- another violation.

The employees were also harmed, Marcy said, by being sent home or losing shifts for showing up "out of uniform" or failing to meet the copious requirements about hair color, fingernail length, makeup style and other requirements of the controversial "look policy," which Marcy described as discriminatory and illegal. 

Abercrombie & Fitch has not yet responded to HuffPost Live's request for comment.

On June 1, the Supreme Court ruled against Abercrombie & Fitch in the separate case of Samantha Elauf, who claimed she was denied a job at the store because of her hijab, despite a successful job interview.

Watch Marcy break down the lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch in the video above.

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