A Target multi-cultural tips list sparked a discrimination lawsuit from three employees who say that they were harassed and ultimately fired from their jobs at Target in Yolo County, California.
On Tuesday, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder admitted to The Huffington Post that the controversial document was indeed used at one company distribution center. However, she added that the multi-cultural tips document was not part of Target’s company-wide training.
Snyder told reporter Kim Bhasin that the company was sorry: “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.”
As you can see in the video I posted up top, the Target multi-cultural tips document was thrust into public view when Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia-Ayala filed a lawsuit in Yolo County court saying that they experienced racial discrimination on the job and then got fired when they complained about it.
They say that most of the managers at the distribution warehouse where they worked were white. As evidence, they offered the document called, “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips” which was distributed to the managers.
According to Courthouse News Service, the document purported to instruct managers about Hispanic employees.
The Target Multi-Cultural Tips:
“1.Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos
“2. Music: not everyone dances to salsa
“3. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero
“4. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be undocumented)
“5. Cubans (Political refugees, legal status, higher education level)
“6. They may say ‘OK, OK’ and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.”
According to the plaintiffs, when they complained about the harassment to Human Resources, they were harassed even more by their manager.
A manager who is not part of the lawsuit allegedly used even more racial epithets to insult Gonzalez in particular. Gonzalez said in the court filing that the manager would even throw boxes and make Gonzalez pick them up to humiliate him.
The tips do seem to be evidence that somebody at Target thinks those managers must be fairly clueless. What’s your take on the Target multi-cultural tips lawsuit?
[Target still photo by Fan of Retail via Flickr, Creative Commons]