Three former Target employees are suing the retailer, claiming they suffered crude harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The workers say in their complaint that an alleged “multi-cultural tips” document for managers laid out items regarding Hispanic employees like “not everyone eats tacos and burritos.”
Courthouse News reports that the former employees claim in Superior court that things like the tip sheet were offensive by even existing.
According to the complaint:
“Target provided its distribution warehouse managers a document titled, ‘Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips. 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.”
Other accusations the plaintiffs bring include the claim that almost all higher up positions were held by whites who allegedly often used racial slurs when speaking to Hispanic employees.
One worker says he complained to human resources and was subsequently punished by his supervisors for doing so. He claims that his manager “began using more racial epithets when instructing [the employee] on his work and would purposefully throw boxes on the ground and then order [him] to pick them up in an attempt to humiliate [him] amongst his colleagues.”
All of the three plaintiffs allege they were fired with racial animus, which in legal terms basically means the motivation for their termination was allegedly due to a strong dislike of their race.
A Target spokeswoman tells Consumerist:
“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.”
Workers Outraged at Target’s ‘Cultural Tips’ [Courthouse News]