Four former CVS employees—all of them African American—are suing the pharmacy chain because they say they were forced to racially profile customers as a way of preventing shoplifting, the New York Daily News reports. The employees also claim that they themselves were harassed because they are black.
In their lawsuit, the four—Sheree Steele, Kerth Polock, Lacole Simpson and Delbert Sorhaindo—accuse two regional managers in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens of ordering employees to specifically target black and Hispanic CVS shoppers when scoping out potential shoplifters. The four describe what they were told to do as “utterly despicable and racist directives,” the Daily News explains.
The managers who stand accused are Anthony Salvatore and Abdule Selene. According to the lawsuit, Salvatore called black people the prime suspects for store thefts.
“These black people are always the ones that are the thieves,” Salvatore is accused of saying. He also allegedly indicted Latino consumers, too, indicating that a particular CVS location had “lots of Hispanic people steal there,” the lawsuit claims.
The employees say that after complaining to management about the racism they say they were subjected to in the workplace, they were fired.
A CVS representative has yet to respond to inquiries made by the Daily News.
Read more at the New York Daily News.