3 Hispanic Workers File Suit Against Target Over Racist ‘Multi-Cultural Training Tips’ (VIDEO)


Target is the, well, target, of yet another discrimination lawsuit, this time filed by three Hispanic men.

Pedro Garcia-Ayala, Bulmaro Fabian, and Robert Gonzalez filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in California, alleging among other things that Target’s management circulated a document titled, “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips.” The document, according to Courthouse News Service, is recorded in the complaint as dispensing the following nuggets of wisdom:

 “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); and
f. They may say ‘OK, OK’ and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.”

The men also allege that management used racial slurs against them, saying things such as “Only a ‘wetback’ can work this hard,” and “I’m already sweating like a Mexican.” The complaint goes on to claim that the managers are overwhelmingly white, and when one of the plaintiffs complained about the racist treatment, he faced retaliation from his manager, who started doing things to cause public humiliation. Two of the plaintiffs also allege their age led to their termination. They are each 58 years old.

This is not the first time Target has seen a discrimination lawsuit aim for their bullseye. Back in 2006, they were sued by an African-American employee who was fired from his position after being told, “You people are not right for this company.” He also claimed that his supervisor taunted him, placing a ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ game in his mailbox. His lawsuit also alleged discrimination against Hispanic employees. In another complaint against Target in 2007, the company was forced to pay over half a million dollars to settle an equal opportunity claim that their hiring for management positions was biased against African-Americans. Of course, those mentioned are not an exhaustive list, and there are other cases out there.

It’s interesting to note Target’s apparent history of racial discrimination as alleged in these lawsuits and settlements, especially on the heels of having cut ties with a certain celebrity chef after her own racism scandal. What’s troubling is that Target seems to have learned nothing from these past lawsuits and complaints and continues to make the same ‘mistake’ over and over again. The training document listed in this latest lawsuit makes that abundantly clear. But it’s not just their internal documents that betray their lack of remorse. Recently, while giving a speech, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel talked about how Target has grown in respect to marketing to the Hispanic demographic.

“In the past, we would do things like put rice cookers on an end cap and say, ‘Yep, we support the Hispanic community.’ Going forward, it means not just the front end cap, it’s the whole 24-foot [aisle].”

Yet the most noteworthy aspect of this most recent lawsuit is that it comes as Target is working overtime to court Hispanic shoppers, and not without reason. A study published by the University of Georgia last year brought attention to the fact that the “Hispanic consumer market in the U.S. is larger than the entire economies of all but 13 countries in the world.” In an effort to claim their piece of the estimated $1 trillion pie that is the Hispanic consumer, Target has ramped up its marketing, featuring Hispanic actors and models in their advertisements, carrying Hispanic products such as Goya, and even putting out an all-Spanish commercial.

See the commercial here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EyhRDznjB9w]

As a minority, I can’t stand the idea of giving my money to Walmart, and I usually considered Target the alternative. While it’s true that if I tried to boycott every company that did something that went against my values I’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere left to shop, I still can’t see myself handing over money to a company that repeatedly discriminates against minorities without remorse.