Ex-Workers Sue Target Over Racially Offensive Document
Three former employees have reportedly sued Target Corporation over what they describe as offensive “multi-cultural tips” given to managers.
Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian, and Pedro Garcia-Ayala filed a suit against Target in California’s Yolo County Court, according to a report by Courthouse News Service, a national news outlet that serves the legal community.
The former employees reportedly claim that they suffered harassment and discrimination, and that Target’s tips for managers—which are presumably designed to deter discrimination—are themselves offensive.
The lawsuit states that Target gave its distribution warehouse managers a document titled “Effectiveness, Employee, and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips,” according to Courthouse News Service. The form allegedly instructed managers to recognize differences among Hispanic workers and included the following “tips”:
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)
F. They may say, “OK, OK” and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.
In a statement provided to multiple news outlets, a Target spokeswoman apologized on behalf of the company.
“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,” she reportedly said. “We strive at all times to be a place where our team and guests feel welcome, valued, and respected.”
The spokeswoman acknowledged that the document was “used during conversations at one distribution center” but “was never part of any formal or company-wide training.”
The former employees also reportedly claim that most management positions were held by Caucasians, some of whom used racial slurs when addressing Hispanic employees, and that race played a role in them being fired.