Abercrombie & Fitch hires floor models as employees. They’re supposed to look good and promote the brand. But should they have to go as far as doing push-ups and squats when they make a mistake?
In April of 2011, the head of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Loss Prevention department sent an email that said, “Now every time we make a mistake [...] we will do ten push-ups. Squats for women. This will bring about a great result: we will learn more from our mistakes.”
A former employee of an Abercrombie & Fitch store located in Milan said that he did a lot of push-ups while he worked there. According to this anonymous employee, that is just the way Abercrombie & Fitch is. His take on the situation: if you don’t like it, then don’t work there.
This isn’t the first time Abercrombie & Fitch has been called out for controversial issues involving employees. In 2003, the store settled a lawsuit after forcing employees to buy and wear clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch while on the clock. Then another lawsuit popped up in 2004, and Abercrombie & Fitch paid $40 million in this lawsuit over discrimination against Asian, Hispanic and black employees.
The controversy didn’t stop there. In 2009, Abercrombie & Fitch was sued for making an employee with a prosthetic arm stay in the stockroom instead of working on the floor. The store has also been sued by three Muslim women. They claim that they were not hired (or fired) because they were wearing headscarves.
What did Abercrombie & Fitch have to say about this?
“We have conducted an internal investigation into this matter, and it appears that the reference to push-ups and squats was a clearly misguided attempt at team-building by an isolated Loss Prevention manager in one of our Flagship stores. Nevertheless, shortly after the Loss Prevention manager’s supervisor learned of this incident, it was stopped.
Upon investigation, we believe that the claims were greatly exaggerated and manufactured by a disgruntled employee. Needless to say, using push-ups or any physical activity for discipline is not A&F policy. It never has been, and it never will be.”
What do you think of this policy? Do you think Abercrombie & Fitch will try harder to stop such controversial things from happening?