The Wet Seal Employees Who Protested Lay-Offs All Got Fired

Illustration for article titled The Wet Seal Employees Who Protested Lay-Offs All Got Fired

Remember those employees who posted a giant protest sign in the window of a Wet Seal in Seattle? They've been fired. So much for activism.


The poster was the handiwork of the branch's store manager Andrea Friesner (who's worked at Wet Seal for eight years) and two assistant managers. They posted it on Sunday and say they're still not sure how it made its way to Reddit. The employees had already been notified over the weekend that their location was closing with layoffs pending, only to then to be fired for their protest shenanigans.

According to the Seattle Times, Friesner "had a heated exchange with her district director," who "told her that the sign was inappropriate and unprofessional. Her two assistant managers came in to support her, and all three were fired, they said." The Times adds:

"I didn't know someone could be fired after being laid off," Friesner said. "I wanted to see it through to the end. I wanted to finish it out. I had that taken away from me."

Friesner said she never intended for the sign to go viral and didn't anticipate the impact it would make.

"I was trying to support everyone else," she said. "I get what we do is sell T-shirts. People are laid off every day. I'm not special. I understand that. I get that, legally, they can do this. It doesn't make it right."


Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

So, one would think that a company that's barely solvent wouldn't want bad publicity. But then you read this on the Wikipedia page:

In 2013, Wet Seal reached a $7.5 million settlement with minority plaintiffs who charged that the company directed managers to fire African American employees who they thought did not fit the company's brand image which is the "Armani look, white, blond hair and blue eyes."

This company would act shitty?