Abercrombie & Fitch loses discrimination case

A law student with a prosthetic arm who claimed she did not fit the “look” of clothes store Abercrombie & Fitch was awarded £9,000 last month.

Riam Dean, 22, said she was banned from the floor of the clothing retailer’s flagship London store and banished to the stockroom.

The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Dean was unlawfully harassed over her disability and subsequently dismissed without good reason.

It awarded her a total of £9,014, including £136 in damages, £7,800 for injury to her feelings, and £1,077 for loss of earnings.

The tribunal heard how Dean took on a £6.50-an-hour job at the Savile Row store last summer to help fund the final year of her law degree. She claimed her bosses suggested she stay in the storeroom until the more-covering winter uniforms arrived some months later. This upset her so much that she quit after working just five shifts.

But the tribunal concluded that Dean’s claim of direct disability discrimination was “not well founded”.

This was because the firm had not treated her differently from non-disabled staff, who were also subject to the “look policy”. However, it said that Abercrombie should have made an adjustment for her disability.

Dean recently passed her law degree and is being fitted with a ‘bionic’ hand.

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