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Saturday, April 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Wal-Mart on the Hook for Security Discrimination

(CN) - A Wal-Mart store condoned discrimination by failing to discipline an employee who performed a tighter security check on a black customer, a New York appeals court ruled.

An administrative law judge had awarded Jackie Scipio $7,000 for mental anguish and humiliation, based on her claim that Wal-Mart security checked her backpack but did not perform the same check on white customers.

The New York State Division of Human Rights adopted the administrative law judge's findings, and Wal-Mart Stores East LP sued to overturn the decision.

The justices of the Rochester-based 4th Appellate Division upheld the decision, ruling that the evidence showed that the Wal-Mart store condoned discrimination.

"There is substantial evidence, including the store's surveillance videos, establishing that the employee stopped greeting customers and asked the customer for a receipt when she left the store but that he did not ask Caucasian customers for receipts," the justices wrote.

Wal-Mart tried to argue that it could not be held liable for the employee's action, but the justices disagreed.

"There is substantial evidence in the record establishing that (Wal-Mart) condoned its employee's actions by failing to discipline the employee," they wrote.

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