Lord & Taylor settles racial discrimination case
Department store giant Lord & Taylor has agreed to pay a onetime fee of $100,000, hire an expert consultant to review and improve its shoplifting prevention policies and procedures, and train its staff to resolve a racial discrimination case.
The case was settled in Massachusetts earlier this month where the original complaint was filed in 2014 by an African-American woman.
Lord & Taylor, owned by Hudson's Bay Co, was facing allegations that it disproportionately targeted minority shoppers in an effort to prevent shoplifting.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced the settlement with Lord & Taylor LLC, the result of a 5-year investigation into the company’s loss prevention practices and policies at all of its four Massachusetts stores — in Boston, Braintree, Burlington, and Natick.
“Following our investigation, Lord & Taylor has agreed to take meaningful steps to improve its policies and procedures to prevent racial profiling of customers—we hope others will do the same,” said AG Healey.
“Far too often, shoppers are unfairly viewed as suspicious or not belonging, simply because of their race or ethnicity. This takes a toll on individuals and broader communities, even when it is the result of unconscious bias, and it is our collective responsibility to address it.”
In a statement, Lord & Taylor spokeswoman Nicole Schoenberg said: “We maintain and enforce long-standing and company-wide policies that promote diversity and inclusion, reflecting our high standards. While we deny any wrongdoing whatsoever, we chose to engage cooperatively with the Attorney General’s Office and appreciate that they recognized our willingness to enhance our practices.”
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