A lawsuit filed by four former employees at Macy’s Herald Square flagship store in New York City claimed the store racially profiled it's Asian customers.
The recently filed complaint alleged the store attendants were given instructions to limit the purchasing on Asian customers, as they believed they would re-sell the goods on other platforms.
The lawsuit, filed by high-profile law firm Wigdor LLP, further accused managers of harassing sales people for helping Asian customers and then firing them for complaining.
“Don’t sell to Chinese,” one manager told employees, according to the complaint. “Why are you selling to these people?”
The four plaintiffs, three of whom are Asian-American, said they were fired last year.
“This racial profiling of customers of Asian descent is based on the discriminatory stereotype that all Asian customers are resellers – that is, Asian customers buy goods in markets like the U.S. and resell them on the grey market at a markup in Asia,” read the lawsuit.
One of the complainants said her manager instructed her to sell “fewer than six” units of an item to Asian customers. Meanwhile, non-Asians were allowed to purchase up to eight units at a time.
Another former employee claimed her manager allegedly told her to not sell to the same Asian customer within 90 days of their last purchase.
However, Macy’s denied the allegations in a statement.
“Macy’s has longstanding policies and practices that embrace and promote diversity and inclusion and prohibit discriminatory conduct against its customers, employees, vendors and business partners,” the statement said. “We are confident that the allegations in this matter will ultimately be found to be without merit.”
In 2014, Macy’s agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a racial profiling probe with the New York attorney general’s office following complaints that it unlawfully detained black customers shopping in the Herald Square store.
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