Macy’s Settles Racial Profiling Probe With New York State for $650,000

The retail giant came under scrutiny in 2013 after it was accused of targeting customers of color. 

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176518936-sign-hangs-above-macys-in-the-magnificent-mile-shopping
A sign hangs above Macy’s in the Magnificent Mile shopping district Aug. 14, 2013, in Chicago. 

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Macy’s is coughing up $650,000 to settle accusations of racial profiling against its store in New York City’s Herald Square, the Associated Press reports.

The retail giant signed on to an agreement on Tuesday with the attorney general of New York. Macy’s agrees to adopt new policies against profiling, train its employees, treat customer complaints seriously and better record any detentions made, the newswire reports.

Macy’s is also required to post a “customer’s bill of rights” in English and Spanish in all of its stores in the state as well as on its website.

“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,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in light of the settlement.

According to AP, the investigation into the store’s treatments of its customers of color began in February 2013, following several complaints from black and Latino customers, among others. Some of the complaints dated back as far as 2007, detailing customers’ claims they were detained at the stores even though they had not stolen or tried to steal anything.

Some customers who were not fluent in English were not allowed to make phone calls, were denied an interpreter and were made to sign trespass notices that they did not understand, AP notes.

“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,” Macy’s reiterated in its own statement. “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.”

This news comes shortly after luxury retailer Barneys New York agreed to a settlement, this time for $525,000, to deal with its own accusations of racial profiling.

Read more at ABC News.

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