Federal lawsuit alleges CVS racial profiling, discrimination

The logo CVS is about as familiar to persons living in San Diego and to other Southern California residents as any other corporate designation. The pharmacy chain’s stores liberally dot the area, just as the company’s massive size ensures a dominant market niche throughout the rest of the country, as well

Given the chain’s commanding presence and the seemingly ubiquitous placement of its stores, any material news developments relating to CVS tend to be national in scope.

That is certainly the case with a recently emerging story involving four former CVS workers at company stores in New York. Their reported treatment at the hands of company bosses has resulted in a federal lawsuit targeting CVS as a defendant and allegations of racially based customer profiling and employee discrimination.

The plaintiffs were all store detectives. Their legal complaint alleges that they were ordered to single out black and Hispanic shoppers when looking out for theft.

The lawsuit additionally contends that the plaintiffs themselves were on the receiving end of racially discriminatory treatment. Reportedly, and as noted in their complaint, their objections to the directives imposed on them brought “increased scrutiny [of them personally], micromanagement and fabricated performance criticism.”

Eventually they all lost their jobs.

Unsurprisingly, the company denies any wrongdoing, with one CVS official saying that the pharmacy chain is “shocked by the allegations.”

A spokesperson for the plaintiffs responds that the case provides an inside look at “the blatant racial profiling policy at one of the largest retailers in the world.”

Source: The New York Times, “Ex-workers accuse CVS of racial discrimination against shoppers,” Alan Feuer, June 3, 2015

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