Target Is Under The Microscope For Racist Employment Practices

Remember that embarrassing company memo from Wal-Mart, which was leaked in 2005? The note advised "how to dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart." Well, now, another company is under the microscope. Recently, Target has been receiving unflattering attention for its labor practices.

Three previous employees of Target are suing the company for employment discrimination. According to the Huffington Post, the company distributed a document to managers, which served as a reminder that not all Hispanics wear sombreros or eat burritos.

The employees were workers in Target's warehouse. In their suit, the employees allege discrimination on the worksite and add that Target's "Multi-Cultural Tips," intended for managers, were offensive in nature.

The suit alleges that the company-employer distributed a document to warehouse managers called, "Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips." The document purportedly featured tips on how to manage and oversee Hispanic employees. The plaintiffs note that the document covered several Hispanic stereotypes, including music, food and clothing. For example, one statement on the document claimed that Hispanics "may say 'OK, OK' and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face." Another statement explained, "Music: not everyone dances to salsa."

The plaintiffs additionally claim that their supervisors frequently used racial epithets when conversing with Hispanic employees. One plaintiff notes that he reported the issue to human resources; however, his superiors retaliated against him, and he was fired.

A spokesperson for target claims that the store is "firmly committed" workplace diversity. She adds, "That commitment includes respecting and valuing the diverse backgrounds of our more than 361,000 team members worldwide."

All of this comes in a time when Target recently increased its marketing to the Hispanics. The store considers Hispanic customers as one of the largest minority groups in the country.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek damages for harassment, as well as recovery associated with race and age discrimination and retaliation.

Pursuant to federal and state laws, the following is prohibited in an employment setting:

  • Race discrimination.
  • Gender or sex discrimination.
  • National-orientation discrimination.
  • Religious discrimination.
  • Disability discrimination.
  • Age discrimination.

If you believe that you have been victimized or discriminated against at your workplace, it may be time to contact a professional. An experienced family law attorney can help you evaluate your case. To learn more about your rights, contact a lawyer.