Macy’s will pay $650,000 to settle allegations of racial profiling at its Herald Square store in Manhattan. The company came under fire in February 2013 when several black and brown customers complained that they’d been profiled while shopping.
Since then, 18 minorities, who didn’t steal or even attempt to steal merchandise, came forward about being apprehended at Macy’s. Some were detained for just traveling between floors on the escalator with unconcealed merchandise. And several who spoke limited English were not allowed to make phone calls and were denied access to an interpreter.
As part of the agreement, signed with New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, Macys will keep better records of detentions, give police more access to security camera monitors, improve employee training, publicly post Macy’s “customer’s bill of rights” in English and Spanish in all its New York stores and on the website, hire an independent anti-discrimination expert and report for 3 years on their compliance.
Schneiderman said: “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.”
Macys also released a statement, saying: “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. 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.”