Macy’s department store has agreed to pay $650,000, hire an anti-discrimination expert, and train employees on racial profiling to settle allegations of racially profiling customers in its Manhattan Herald Square store.
The settlement is similar to one recently reached between New York State and Barney’s.
As with Barney’s, several African-American and Hispanic customers filed complaints against Macy’s claiming they were detained for shoplifting items they had shopped and paid for. In an especially high-profile incident, actor Robert Brown sued and won against Macy’s after being held in a Macy’s detention area for an hour after he bought an expensive Movado watch as a gift for his mother.
In many of these cases, department store employees detain customers, assuming they must be guilty because they “can’t pay for” the expensive items they have in their possession. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is not standing for that kind of flimsy and un-called-for policy, and has promised to continue to prosecute retailers who profile shoppers this way.
“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,” Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday.