NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Barneys has agreed to pay $525,000 to resolve allegations that minorities were singled out as suspected shoplifters at its flagship store, part of a spate of racial profiling complaints against major retailers last year.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the complaints from Barneys shoppers were too similar and too numerous to ignore.
Barneys shoppers and ex-employees complained that detectives followed minority customers around, even after staffers identified them as frequent patrons, and disproportionately investigated their credit card use, so much so that some salespeople even avoided serving minority shoppers so as to avoid getting calls from store investigators, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in announcing the settlement Monday.
“Stopped and accused of shoplifting. Stopped and accused of credit card fraud on the basis of their race,” said Kristen Clard, head of the Civil Rights Bureau for Schneiderman’s office.