Jun 24, 2009
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Worker with artificial arm sues US clothing store

Jun 24, 2009

LONDON (AFP) - A woman with a prosthetic arm took US clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch to a tribunal Wednesday 24 June, saying she had to work in its stock room because she did not fit its "look policy".

Photo:Tim Boyle/AFP

Riam Dean, a 22-year-old law graduate who was born with no left forearm, is reportedly seeking up to 20,000 pounds from the clothing giant, a favourite with teenagers and twentysomethings.

She is alleging disability discrimination and breach of contract, a spokeswoman for the Central London Employment Tribunal confirmed.

Dean has told the Daily Mail newspaper she was initially given permission to wear a cardigan to cover her arm before being told a few days later the cardigan did not comply with the firm's dress code, also known as the "look policy".

She was then told to work behind the scenes until the winter uniform arrived, she said.

Dean worked at Abercrombie & Fitch's flagship London store, where shoppers are greeted by male models stripped to the waist and browse for clothes in a dimly-lit nightclub-style atmosphere.

A spokeswoman for the store said it could not discuss a pending matter but described Dean's claims as "inaccurate".

"Abercrombie & Fitch has a strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy and is committed to providing a supportive and dignified environment for all of its employees," the spokeswoman added.

The tribunal in London starts Wednesday 24 June and is expected to last for up to three days.

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