Juicy Couture, that hip, L.A.-centric, high-end clothing and apparel chain, is engaging in what can only be described as tragically unhip corporate behavior. It is, workers say, replacing its full-time workforce with part-timers in order to duck its obligations to provide paid leave and health care for the workers.
According to the women’s fashion, lifestyle and news blog Jezebel, the workers who were fired or saw their hours slashed say the peddler of $200 jeans and reviver of the velour track suit is deliberately back-dooring the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers with 50 or more employees who work 30 or more hours a week to provide basic health care coverage.
In addition, the workers’ hours have been capped at 21 per week—not quite enough to meet the 1,400-hours-a-year company benchmark to qualify for paid sick leave.
Two former employees (see photo) of the chain’s New York City flagship store have teamed up with the Retail Action Project to launch an online petition urging Juicy Couture to provide full-time opportunities for workers and lift the cap on hours:
When we began working at Juicy Couture, many of us were full time. Now, only 19 of the store’s 128 employees are full time! Not only are they firing full-time workers and replacing us with a part-time workforce, just this month Juicy capped all part-time workers' hours at 21 hours per week.
We quickly realized that Juicy Couture is doing everything it can to not take care of its workers.Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture by having our hours cut or being fired. Now we’re speaking out on behalf of co-workers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours.We know from experience that Juicy has loyal customers and dedicated employees—if enough of us speak out and demand Just Hours, they'll have no choice but to act.
The company has more than 100 retail outlets.
BTW, Fifth and Pacific, Juicy Couture’s parent company, posted a $54 million profit in just the last quarter of 2012.