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Gap to Settle Employee Clothes Suit

March 03, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Gap Inc., the largest U.S. clothing retailer, has tentatively settled a lawsuit filed by employees who said they were forced to buy and wear the company's clothes at work in violation of California labor laws.

Terms of the settlement have not been completed, said Patrick Kitchin, an attorney for a Gap employee who filed the suit on behalf of current and former workers at 500 California Gap stores. The suit sought reimbursement for the money workers spent to buy Gap clothes. The settlement is subject to court approval.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. face similar suits over employee dress policies.

The Gap employee lawsuit alleged that the company was violating a state law requiring companies to pay for workers' uniforms. Gap said it did not consider the employees' clothes a uniform or make workers buy Gap clothes.

The two sides are "still working" on the terms of the settlement, Kitchin said. He would not say whether the settlement would include a cash payment.

The agreement, which also would apply to Gap unit Banana Republic, was disclosed in an electronic court record at state court in San Francisco.

Stacy MacLean, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Gap, declined to comment.

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