Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is being sued by a law student who alleges the retailer made her work in the stock room instead of on the shop floor because her prosthetic limb did not fit with the chain’s image.
Riam Dean claims she was taken off the shop floor of the US retailer’s London flagship store because she did not fit with the company’s “Look Policy”.
Dean, who has just finished her final exams at London’s Queen Mary University, was born with her left forearm missing and told an Employment Tribunal that she was given special permission to wear a cardigan to cover her arm when on the shop floor.
But she told the tribunal she was later removed from the shop floor and made to work in the stockroom because the cardigan did not adhere to the strict dress code.
A&F’s barrister, Akash Nawbatt from Devereux chambers, claimed that Deans’ portrayal of what happened through her employment was inaccurate.
A spokesman for the company said: “While we cannot comment on the specifics of a pending matter, Abercrombie & Fitch does regret that Ms Dean has felt it necessary to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal. Abercrombie & Fitch has a strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy and is committed to providing a supportive and dignified environment for its all of its employees.”
Dean is seeking damages of up to £20,000 for alleged discrimination and constructive dismissal.
A&F denies discriminating on the grounds of disability.
The hearing in Central London continues.