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Abercrombie & Fitch to Pay $2.2 Million Under Settlement

Workers recently employed by clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch are entitled to share in the $2.2 million settlement of a lawsuit charging the company with forcing employees to buy and wear the store's clothing for work.

The California State labor department claimed that the store's "Appearance/Look Policy" required that employees purchase the company's clothes to wear while working. Like most states, California requires that employers cover some or all of the cost of required apparel.

The settlement will affect nearly 11,000 people employed at California's Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co., and abercrombie stores during the period from January of 1999 through February 15, 2002. Abercrombie & Fitch has stated that it has since revised its dress code policies, and will reimburse individuals who worked for the stores during the specified period for amounts up to $490.

Other class-action lawsuits regarding the clothing store's dress-code polices will not be affected by the settlement, and the company still faces charges of employment discrimination. Last month, a lawsuit was filed charging that the chain discriminates against black, Hispanics and Asians through a corporate policy encouraging an all-white "A&F look".