Lawsuit Outlines Abercrombie and Fitch's CEO Michael Jeffries' Rules on Company Jet


A lawsuit and documents filed in a case against clothier Abercrombie & Fitch lays out the details of CEO Michael Jeffries' meticulous instructions for those serving him on the company's private jet, which includes well-shaved, boxer-clad models wearing color-specific hand gloves, a Phil Collins song playing during boarding and specific seating arrangements for his dogs.

The details were revealed in a case filed in federal court in Philadelphia by corporate jet pilot Michael Stephen Bustin, 55, who claims he was fired in December 2009 because of his age. In the case Jeffries, 68, is being accused of age discrimination.

The suit filed against Abercrombie & Fitch and obtained by ABC News states that the company terminated Bustin's employment "with the express intention of hiring younger pilots who were more in keeping with the defendant's corporate image ... which emphasized a 'youthful, all-American style.'"

The suit says that a 47-page "aircraft standards" manual states that male flight crew members aboard the company's Gulfstream G550 jet must wear A&F polo shirts, boxer briefs, flip-flops and a "spritz" of the A&F cologne, Bloomberg News reported.

As passengers board the aircraft for retunr flights, the 1985 Phil Collins hit "Take Me Home" must be piped over the cabin PA, according to the manual, and the executive's three dogs – named as Ruby, Trouble and Sammy – had specific seats based on which was traveling, according to the manual, BN reported.

The rules for serving Jeffries also state that staff must wear black gloves when handling silverware and white gloves for setting the table. Flight crew members are also banned from wearing coats unless the temperature falls below 50 degrees, according to BN.

Airline crew must "not expose the toilet paper and do not fold the end square," according to the manual, and "when [passengers] make a request, respond by saying 'no problem.' This should be used in place of phrases like, 'Sure' or, 'Just a minute,'" Bloomberg News reported.

Pilots on the company's private jets are not employed by Abercrombie & Fitch, and cabin crew are provided by a modeling agency. Bustin was employed by several companies that were contracted out by A&F, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also cites a 2006 interview with Jeffries, where he stated that the company "go[es] after the attractive all-American kid … a lot of people don't belong in our clothes and they can't belong," along with a Time interview where Jeffries states that he likes to hire employees as young as the college-aged customers he seeks to attract.

Jeffries also often made "disparaging or exclusionary comments about older individuals," the complaint states.

Calls placed by ABC News to Abercrombie & Fitch's General Counsel Ronald A. "Rocky" Robins, Jr. and the attorney listed as representing Bustin in the docket report were unanswered.

Though the court case was filed in 2010, documents filed since have highlighted Jeffries' meticulous control over the staff of his New Albany, Ohio-based company.

Last week, cashiers at Abercrombie & Fitch, started a petition with the labor group Retail Action Project on to request an end to "erratic scheduling" and "abusive on-call shifts" that leave workers waiting by the phone for work that sometimes does not come.

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