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‘How may I insult you?’ Rude salespeople ignite bias suits

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,HR Management,Human Resources

by Mindy Chapman, Esq.

You’d think the sight of customers paying retail prices with real green money would be a sight for a salesperson’s sore eyes. That apparently wasn’t the case at a Dillard’s department store in Kansas City, which is now facing a messy lawsuit after a saleswoman shunned a customer.

When a black couple asked to see a watch in a glass case, the saleswoman said “No” and kept her arms folded. Finally, another salesperson stepped in to help. The rude saleswoman glared at the couple, questioned how they’d pay for the watch and muttered the “n” word under her breath.

The other salesperson apologized for the woman’s behavior and informed the couple this wasn’t the first time that the employee had demonstrated such racial hostility. After the couple left the goods behind and filed suit, the court informed Dillard’s it had purchased itself a jury trial. (Green v. Dillard’s Inc., 8th Cir., No. 06-1918)

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