MOA Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against autistic teen, judge says
|Photo by permanently scatterbrained|
The store located at the Mall of America in Minnesota discriminated against a 14-year-old autistic female customer in 2005, a judge said.
The clothing retailer was sued by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights over the incident with an Apple Valley teen.
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According to the human right's department's summary of the case, store employees refused to let the teenager's sister accompany her into a fitting room, even after she explained that the girl had special needs.When the human rights department was unable to solve the conflict directly with AF, they sued.
The workers said the store policy was to allow only one person into a fitting room at a time in order to reduce the risk of shoplifting.
he girls' mother asked for a copy of the policy at the store and repeatedly contacted the retailers corporate offices in search of more information. When she was denied information she filed a complaint with the human rights department.
The judge said the store discriminated against the teen by not making reasonable accommodations for her disability. The judge also said the retailer officials were general assholes when approached about the incident, didn't follow their own policies, and even denied the girl was disabled.
The retailer must pay more than $155,000, including $25,000 to the teen. AF plans to appeal.
AF was also in the news recently when a former employee said she was forced to work in the backroom because she had a prosthetic arm that didn't fit their image. The retailer was found to have broken employment law and had to pay her of unlawful harassment.