Abercrombie fail: Appeal tossed after mailing error


Abercrombie & Fitch tried to appeal a fine and list of corrective actions after the Minnesota Department of Human Rights determined they had discriminated against a 14-year-old autistic customer at the Mall of America store in 2005. Unfortunately simple rules of an appeal are too hard for the clothing giant to understand.

Their appeal was thrown out last week after the company failed to send the documents by certified mail. Epic fail for Abercrombie, sigh of relief for family in the case.

The company was ordered to pay $115,264 after they refused to let Molly Maxson bring her sister into a dressing room at the story. Maxson is autistic and even after her sister and mother tried to explain the teen's disability, the store refused to break their "one-at-a-time" in the dressing room policy. The store must put up signs about accomodations and train employs on helping disabled customers.

More from the Star Tribune:

Abercrombie appealed the fine and corrective actions, but sent the petition for the appeal to the Department of Human Rights by first-class mail, rather than by certified mail or hand-delivery.

First-class mail doesn't comply with the procedures of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, so the court dismissed the appeal Sept. 15. Ian Laurie, an attorney for Molly Maxson, said he had a communication from Abercrombie that indicated the company would no longer fight the penalties.