Whether you’re working at Louis Vuitton or Target, the retail gig is the same deal. It’s certainly rewarding, but it’s also the ultimate test of patience (and some days of how many hours you can go without eating).
Although it’s popular belief that retail employee = slave, you are still a human with rights and we think it’s important you know them. Why? Because you may just have the upper hand in a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
Now listen up. Last year, former Coach employee, Eva Miranda, filed a lawsuit against the American luxury fashion brand. She accused Coach of intentionally failing to compensate employees for overtime hours they spent, get this – having their bags checked.
Now let’s think about this. After every shift you, hating people and ready for a vino, are made to hang back at work an extra 10 mins to have your bag checked. Now let’s say you work five days a week and have been in your retail gig for the past two years. Add a few extra days for the Christmas period, minus a week or two of leave, work in your Sunday rate and BOOM. You may just have a claim in a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
At least that was Miranda’s reasoning. She claimed $7.25 US million against her employer as part of a class action, for all the unpaid overtime she and her colleagues worked.
Her claim also alleged the brand failed to provide her and 7,300 other employees with the minimum essentials required for any retail employee including, meal and rest breaks, itemised wage statements and of course, overtime compensation. If you’ve ever worked a day in retail, you’ll know forgoing these basics isn’t exactly rare.
Just this week Coach decided to agree to the terms and settle the lawsuit out of court.
The verdict? Coach agreed to pay out $1.75 US million to Miranda and her fellow class members.
And it’s not just Coach who have been guilty as charged. This has unfortunately been a trend in the fashion industry, ranging from high fashion houses to fast fashion retailers. Chanel, Gucci, H&M and GAP and many more have been called out for similar cases.
Moral of the story? Know your rights and don’t be afraid to speak up. The law got your back, fam.
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