Recently a discrimination lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy became high profile in the news.
The New York Time reported that CVS’s former employees complained that managers required them to profile black and Hispanic shoppers for shoplifting. When they complained about this practice to their supervisors, they were fired.
Consequently, the former employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against CVS, which is a large drugstore chain on the East Coast, surpassed in size only by Walgreens. They filed their lawsuit in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. CVS also fired store investigators who complained about racial discriminating targeting of shoppers, and in fact, all plaintiffs in the class action are either black or Hispanic. The former employees alleged that after complaining about the racial discrimination, their supervisors subjected them to heightened “scrutiny, micromanagement and fabricated performance criticism.”
A year ago, Macy’s and Barneys New York faced racial discrimination allegations for similar issues and settled complaints with NY State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman. Macy’s and Barneys New York paid $650,000 and $525,000 respectively and agreed to implement racial discrimination reform measures.
Clearly, stores must deal with shoplifting issues because theft threatens their viability and reduces profit margins. However, retail business owners must also be vigilant about not allowing discriminatory practices to enter into dealing with the problem. A CVS spokes person informed the news media that CVS has strong anti-discrimination policies, which it rigorously enforces.
For decades, Stephen Hans & Associates has helped business owners put best practices and anti-discrimination policies in place along with protecting their rights through litigation and negotiated settlements.