Tag: racial profiling in department stores

Macy’s Settles Racial Profiling Probe With New York State for $650,000


Macy’s is coughing up $650,000 to settle accusations of racial profiling against its store in New York City’s Herald Square, the Associated Press reports.

The retail giant signed on to an agreement on Tuesday with the attorney general of New York. Macy’s agrees to adopt new policies against profiling, train its employees, treat customer complaints seriously and better record any detentions made, the newswire reports.

Macy’s is also required to post a “customer’s bill of rights” in English and Spanish in all of its stores in the state as well as on its website.

“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 light of the settlement.

According to AP, the investigation into the store’s treatments of its customers of color began in February 2013, following several complaints from black and Latino customers, among others. Some of the complaints dated back as far as 2007, detailing customers’ claims they were detained at the stores even though they had not stolen or tried to steal anything.

Some customers who were not fluent in English were not allowed to make phone calls, were denied an interpreter and were made to sign trespass notices that they did not understand, AP notes.

“To be clear, our company’s policies strictly prohibit any form of discrimination or racial profiling, and any occurrence of such behavior will not be tolerated in our organization,” Macy’s reiterated in its own statement. “Moving forward, our company will be initiating a series of measures including enhanced training and education for our loss prevention and sales associates. We also will be adopting an expanded role for our security monitor to help ensure that we have the right policies and procedures in place, and that we are constantly reviewing our compliance with them.”

This news comes shortly after luxury retailer Barneys New York agreed to a settlement, this time for $525,000, to deal with its own accusations of racial profiling.

Read more at ABC News.

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

Barneys Agrees to Pay $525,000 to Settle Racial Profiling Allegations after Civil Rights Review

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Barneys New York has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle allegations that the upscale retailer deliberately targeted minorities entering its Madison Ave. flagship store.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigators heard from customers and former employees that a pattern of racial profiling began last year when the high-end store tried to crack down on a dramatic spike in shoplifting and credit card fraud.

Complainants told Schneiderman’s civil rights division that the store’s security team — known as the “loss prevention unit” — made a habit of keeping watch over black and Hispanic shoppers in disproportionate numbers.

“This agreement will correct a number of wrongs,” said Schneiderman, “both by fixing past policies and by monitoring the actions of Barneys and its employees to make sure that past mistakes are not repeated.”

Trayon Christian, 19, says he was accused of fraud after buying a $349 Ferragano belt at Barneys in April 2013.
Trayon Christian, 19, says he was accused of fraud after buying a $349 Ferragano belt at Barneys in April 2013. (Aaron Showalter/New York Daily News)
Kayla Phillips, 21, was accused  of credit card fraud after buying a $2,500 Celine bag February 2013.
Kayla Phillips, 21, was accused  of credit card fraud after buying a $2,500 Celine bag February 2013.

In a 27-page settlement document signed by both parties Friday, Schneiderman released a series of findings from a nine-month review based on interviews with nearly a dozen complainants in the so-called shop-and-frisk case, including shoppers and former employees.

They alleged that black and Hispanic customers were unfairly targeted when they entered the pricey store at 660 Madison Ave.

The store’s own data showed that from October 2012 through October 2013, black and Hispanic shoppers were detained “at rates far greater than their percentage of the store’s customer base.”

The review began this past October in response to a series of Daily News articles exposing numerous complaints about racial profiling at Barneys and Macy’s.

Schneiderman’s review of Macy’s continues, but Barneys executives last week agreed to the settlement.

As part of the deal, Barneys agreed to pay the $525,000 in fines and legal expenses, to hire an “anti-profiling consultant” for two years, to update its detention policy and to improve training of security and sales personnel.

article by Greg A. Smith via nydailynews.com