After several incidents earlier this year, Macy’s and Barneys teamed up with the Reverend Al Sharpton to create what’s being called a “Shoppers’ Bill of Rights,” aimed at addressing racial profiling in stores.
“Profiling is an unacceptable practice and will not be tolerated,” says the one-page document. “employees who violate the company’s prohibition on profiling will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.” The document also states that the store is “committed to ensuring that all shoppers, guests, and employees are treated with respect and dignity and are free from unreasonable searches, profiling, and discrimination of any kind in our store.”
The bill of rights was created after several incidents of racial profiling were reported at Barneys last month. African-American shoppes Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips both reported being wrongfully accused of debit card fraud after purchasing items at one of Barneys’ New York City locations (Jay Z was urged to pull out of his collaboration with the retailer in the wake of the allegations). And two other instances were recently reported at a Manhattan Macy’s, one of which included Robert Brown, an actor on the HBO show “Treme.” He’s currently moving forward with a lawsuit against the department store.
Sharpton created the document with the help of a task force that included teams from both retailers, community advocates, and civil rights leaders. In the coming weeks, retailers including Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue, are expected to also post the document.