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May 05, 2005
Gap Resolves 'Uniform' Dispute

Gap Inc. has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit charging that the retail clothing company violated California labor laws by requiring employees to buy and wear Gap brand clothing and accessories while on the job. Under the settlement, which has been approved by a San Francisco superior court, Gap will provide Gap gift cards worth between $40 and $240 to approximately 55,000 current and former employees. The settlement covers anyone who worked for Gap or Banana Republic between February 4, 1999, and December 21, 2003.

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As part of the settlement, the employees' attorneys have asked the court to award $400,000 in attorney's fees, as well as $10,000 to the employee who initiated the class action lawsuit. In settling, Gap denied liability, stating that it only required employees to look "brand appropriate" and did not insist that they purchase Gap clothing.

This settlement is just the latest development in a series of charges against California retailers accusing them of requiring workers to buy and wear the retailers' own clothes, in violation of Labor Code provisions that obligate employers to pay for employee uniforms. In 2003, hip clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch settled a similar lawsuit, agreeing to pay out $2.2 million

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