Walmart is under fire this week and facing claims of discriminatory behavior after being called out for some of their well known business practices.
A woman in Perris, California says she felt discriminated against when she noticed that African American beauty products were all locked up in glass cases, while beauty products designed for other races were not.
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Essie Grundy, a mother of 5, said she was discriminated against based on her race at a Walmart located at 1800 N. Perris Blvd. in Perris, CA on Jan. 12, 2018 and she held a press conference on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 alongside attorney Gloria Allred to reveal she was filing a lawsuit.
It was something I had to stand up for. I would like the glass to go down, and for things to go back to the way it was, where it’s not segregated and everything is where everyone can get what they need.
Grundy went to Walmart to buy beauty products for her family and noticed that the items used most by African Americans were locked behind glass, according to a statement from Allred.
Allred said Grundy was shocked that the hair and skin items were “segregated” while beauty products for other races were easily available to customers.
Grundy also said she was not even allowed to touch the lotion she wanted to buy until she purchased it, accompanied by an employee to the register.
She said she felt like a “criminal,” as people were watching her being escorted to the front cash register, not allowed to hold the product herself.
Grundy said she complained to the employee, who agreed with her, and said he complained about this before. He allegedly told her it was a directive from corporate, Allred said at the news conference.
The woman returned to the Walmart once again to buy products, and said the section was in the same condition, with a security camera overhead.
Walmart has responded to the accusation with the following response:
We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to additional security. Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures.
While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court.