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New York AG reaches anti-discrimination agreement with Macy's

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 21, 2014

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NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with Macy's Retail Holdings Inc. on Wednesday that will address recent allegations of discrimination against minority customers.

Schneiderman's Civil Rights Bureau began looking into Macy's in February 2013 after receiving several complaints from minority customers. More than two dozen Latino, African-American and other customers who are members of ethnic minority groups alleged they were either racially profiled or falsely apprehended and detained, despite not having stolen or attempted to steal Macy's merchandise. The customers alleged the store detained and falsely accused minorities of committing crimes at much higher rates than white customers.

“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,” Schneiderman said. “Recent allegations of racial profiling at some of New York’s most famous stores stand as a stark reminder that the protections afforded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are still needed today – and that equal justice under law remains an American ideal we are striving to attain. 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.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Macy's must designate an independent anti-discrimination expert to report on compliance to Schneiderman's office for three years, employ an internal full-time security monitor, post its customer bill of rights in English and Spanish in a prominent location, adopt new policies regarding anti-profiling, train employees on anti-profiling, and look into complaints alleging racial profiling or discrimination.

Macy must also pay $650,000 in costs, fees and penalties to the state.


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