Former CVS Detectives Say They Were Told to Target Minority Shoppers
NEW YORK, June 4 (UPI) — Four former store detectives for CVS locations in New York City filed a lawsuit saying the company told them to target black and Hispanic shoppers as potential shoplifters.
The employees, all of whom are either black or Hispanic themselves, said their bosses used racist language and told them to keep an eye on minority shoppers because they were more likely to steal, Newsday reported.
“CVS intentionally targets and racially profiles its black and Hispanic shoppers based on the highly offensive, discriminatory and ill-founded institutional belief that these minority customers are criminals and thieves,” the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, said.
The plaintiffs, Delbert Sorhaindo, Kerth Polack, Sheree Steele and Lacole Simpson, said they were fired because they complained about the discrimination.
“While there have been many high-profile shop-and-frisk cases filed by customers of large retailers in recent years, this is the first time a group of employees has banded together to provide an inside account and expose the blatant racial-profiling policy at one of the largest retailers in the world,” David Gottlieb, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told The New York Times.
A spokeswoman at CVS headquarters in Woonsocket, R.I., said, “We do not tolerate any policy or practice that discriminates against any group. We are shocked by the allegations … and we intend to defend against them vigorously.”