Three former Target warehouse employees are suing the retail chain, claiming they were fired after complaining about a racist training document used at a California distribution center.
Molly Snyder, a spokesman for Target, confirmed that the document had been used at the center. She added that the company was taking responsibility for the document, though she noted it was not part of any "formal or company-wide training." From Snyder's statement:
“It is never Target’s intent to offend our team members or guests and we apologize. The content of the document referenced is not representative of who Target is. We strive at all times to be a place where our team and guests feel welcome, valued and respected. This document, which was used during conversations at one distribution center, was never part of any formal or company-wide training. We take accountability for its contents and are truly sorry.”
But what exactly does training document, titled "Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips," say? Here's an excerpt from the lawsuit:
"This document instructs managers to note differences among Hispanic employees, and states the following:
"a. Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos;
"b. Music: not everyone dances to salsa;
"c. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero;
"d. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be undocumented);
"e. Cubans (Political refugees, legal status, higher education level); and
"f. They may say 'OK, OK' and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face."
So yes, it's pretty offensive.
The three former employees — Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia — also claim that their supervisors, who were, according to the lawsuit, mostly white, used racial slurs when speaking with Hispanic employees. When Gonzalez complained, the lawsuit alleges, his supervisors retaliated by firing all three men.
[via The Atlantic Wire]
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