By  on January 8, 2014

A Florida-based handbag designer has filed a lawsuit against Chico’s FAS Inc. claiming the company forced her to copy other designers’ creations.

First hired as a freelancer in August 2009 and then as a women’s handbag designer in January 2011, Paula Bonnafant was terminated in November 2011 “in retaliation for engaging in statutorily protected conduct.” The plaintiff claims that the entire eight-person accessories team was aware of the knockoffs, as was brand president Cinny Murray.

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