A group of former CVS employees has filed a federal lawsuit against the drugstore chain, claiming that they were ordered to target Black and Hispanic shoppers at the company’s New York locations.
Lacole Simpson, Sheree Steele, Delbert Sorhaindo and Kerth Pollack, who were all detectives with CVS’ Loss Prevention Department, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday.
“CVS intentionally targets and racially profiles its Black and Hispanic shoppers based on the highly offensive, discriminatory and ill-founded institutional belief that these minority customers are criminals and thieves,” reads the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs said that their managers asked them to follow minority customers around the store and regularly made racist comments against both shoppers and employees. The lawsuit specifically named two managers—Anthony Salvatore and Abdul Selene—as defendants.
The former employees said that they complained to human resources, but to no avail. Three of them said that they were forced to resign because of the toxic work environment.
A spokeswoman for CVS said that the company has a staunch nondiscrimination policy.
“We serve all communities, and we do not tolerate any policy or practice that discriminates against any group,” CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel said in a statement. “We are shocked by the allegations in this complaint, and we intend to defend against them vigorously.”