Subscribe

Did CVS in NYC racially profile customers? (+video)

Four former CVS detectives filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the drugstore chain claiming they were told to profile black and Hispanic shoppers. CVS says it's "shocked" by the allegations.

  • close
    Former CVS employees are suing the company, claiming their bosses ordered them to racially profile potential thieves.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Four former store detectives employed by CVS in New York City say their supervisors ordered them to target minority shoppers.

They filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the drugstore on Wednesday. The detectives say they were fired after complaining about the discrimination.

CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel says the company doesn't tolerate discrimination and is "shocked" by the allegations.

The lawsuit alleges that the workers' supervisors told them to racially profile black and Hispanic shoppers.

It claims CVS intentionally targets and racially profiles shoppers based on the "ill-founded institutional belief ... minority customers are criminals and thieves."

The plaintiffs are all either black or Hispanic.

The detectives say they were subjected to increased scrutiny within weeks after complaining to CVS about the episodes.

Last year, Macy's in New York paid $650,000 to settle a similar claim, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan faced more than a dozen complaints from African-American and Latino customers claiming that Macy’s "lost prevention unit" detained them even though they hadn’t stolen or attempted to steal anything. Complainants also accused store officials of falsely accusing minorities of shoplifting more than white customers.

“It is absolutely unacceptable – and it’s illegal – for anyone in New York to be treated like a criminal simply because of the color of their skin,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday. “This agreement will help ensure that no one is unfairly singled out as a suspected criminal when they shop in New York and that all New Yorkers enjoy full and equal access to our retail establishments.”

Under the terms of its settlement, Macy’s must designate an independent expert on anti-discrimination laws who will report to the attorney general. The company must train employees on best ways to treat detainees and investigate customer complaints of racial profiling. 

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK