Why Are Hermès and Chanel so Bad at Paying Employees?

Last week, The Fashion Law reported that Hermès was named in a class action lawsuit in which two employees who worked at one of the brand’s New York stores claim that they were not fully paid all the commission that was owed to them. Now, The Fashion Law says Chanel is being accused of not properly paying overtime or minimum wage for over time hours by a group of employees from the brand’s shipping department in Beverly Hills. Why, if these brands have as much money as they do, are they so bad at paying their employees, though?

Both Hermès and Chanel had very financially successful years in 2015. Just yesterday, The Fashion Law reported that Hermès beat analysts’ profit estimates with a 19% increase in operating profits at €1.54 billion and plans to raise their prices by 3.5% in Europe to meet production costs.In September of last year, Bloomberg reported that Chanel made more profits than any of its competitors with $7.5 billion in revenue and a net income of $1.4 billion. It’s clear that these companies are doing very well so why can’t they properly pay their employees?

It’s because they’re pretentious.

When one employee at Hermès’ New York store asked his manager how commissions were calculated, he was fired. According to Richard A. Roth, a lawyer representing the former Hermès employees, “Hermès is saying take what we give you — we’re Hermès and you’re not,” basically treating it’s employees’ wages like the Birkin.


If you want a Birkin, you get put on a waiting list after letting a sales associate know what model you want. When you are called, you might get the model you asked for or you may not. Regardless, you have to buy one when they offer you one or you get kicked out of the waiting list for two years. Basically, you take what they offer you or you don’t get a Birkin.

What’s more, Chanel alleges that “the evidence they provided (and the fact that they were forced to work overtime in the first place) does not amount to anything more than proof that they’re incapable of fulfilling their job duties,” according to The Fashion Law.

So, these brands are just being pretentious. Hermès thinks it can treat its employees wages like the Birkin and Chanel accuses its employees of not being able to do their jobs instead of trying to see why these employees are claiming they weren’t properly paid. Hermès and Chanel aren’t actually bad at paying their employees, they just don’t want to properly pay them.

So, what do you think? Are Hermès and Chanel being pretentious? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get new posts sent directly to your inbox and follow me Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

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