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Discriminatory comments made by store clerk


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#1 LAelle

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

During a shopping trip to a local retail outlet center, in a well known franchised store, while looking at other merchandise in a showcase nearby, I was told by the clerk, who had assisted me previously, "Those, oh, you can't afford those!" Then she went on to relate the description of the items as justification of why I couldn't afford them. Additionally, she continued in that same line of thought by coming from behind the sales counter in an attempt to show me items she thought I could afford, while I stood there in total shock and embarassment. I got the clerk's name as I told her my family and I were leaving and wouldn't be making any purchases.

I informed the store of the discriminatory incident immediately on their corporate website, then followed up with multiple telephone call complaints, and finally emails to their regional manager and legal dept.

I wanted to know what legal avenue (small claims court, etc...) can I pursue damages equivalent to the embarrassment and humiliation I felt from the incident? I have sent a demand letter of $5000 to the regional management, of which I think is amicable amount in relationship to the injury caused.

The regional manager has countered my request with an offer of any store item valued of $150 or less and an additional 50% discount off of my next entire purchase.

Do you think this is a fair offer and if not, how do you recommend I pursue the matter further continuing to represent myself?

Thanks,

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

What damages did you suffer as a result of this matter?

#3 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

I wanted to know what legal avenue (small claims court, etc...) can I pursue damages equivalent to the embarrassment and humiliation I felt from the incident? I have sent a demand letter of $5000 to the regional management, of which I think is amicable amount in relationship to the injury caused.

Thanks,


Unless the reason the clerk thought you could not afford more expensive things was due to your race, religion, or some other protected characteristic under federal and state law (and you did not mention the state), then there is nothing a court can do for you. It is not illegal discrimination in most states to treat you differently because you are (or are perceived to be) poor. Nor does the law provide any remedy simply for being "embarrassed" or "humiliated."

#4 pg1067

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

I informed the store of the discriminatory incident immediately on their corporate website, then followed up with multiple telephone call complaints, and finally emails to their regional manager and legal dept.


It is utterly unclear to me how you believe these comments were discriminatory or why you apparently made and are making such a big deal over comments that are objectively benign.


I wanted to know what legal avenue (small claims court, etc...) can I pursue damages equivalent to the embarrassment and humiliation I felt from the incident?


I know of no legal avenue that would allow recovery for "embarrassment" or "humiliation" because you had a bizzare overreaction to the comments you mentioned. Please note that I am responding based solely on the facts contained in your post and am not assuming any additional facts that might change my response.

And, by the way, even if I were to assume that the clerk made her comments based on your race, ethnicity, gender, etc., I still wouldn't think you had a viable claim. You don't mention that you were denied the ability to make any purchase or that anything happened beyond the clerk's possibly stupid comment (you also didn't suggest that the clerk was wrong).


I have sent a demand letter of $5000 to the regional management, of which I think is amicable amount in relationship to the injury caused.


I'm not sure what you mean by "amicable amount." "Amicable" means friendly. In any event, where did you come up with this number? I can only assume that you just made it up out of thin air.


The regional manager has countered my request with an offer of any store item valued of $150 or less and an additional 50% discount off of my next entire purchase.

Do you think this is a fair offer


In my subjective opinion, I think it is beyond fair. It is incredibly generous. This appears to be nothing more than a customer service matter, and an offer of $150 plus what appears to be an unlimited 50% discount on a single purchase is beyond what I think most retailers would do to try and keep an overreacting customer happy.

#5 LAelle

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

I appreciate everyone's comments as they have helped me keep the rude manner in which I was treated in prespective, just as plain out rude and hurtful comments but not legally wronged. I didn't feel as though I was being overly sensitive or over reacting but, very well may have been as black female living in america. I needed objective opinions to make sure and to this all your replies have helped me with, to that end I am very grateful for this website and forum.

Just in response to some of the comments, I am a black female who is well established and have made many retail purchases well beyond $1266. The derived amount of $5000 was based upon the value of the watch ($1266) and the number of family members (3) who were with th me during the incident, rounded to even number of $5000. I felt this amount was "friendly" as something the company could settle with me without me filing a civil case against them.



Thanks again for everything!

#6 LAelle

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

What damages did you suffer as a result of this matter?

Hurt Feelings and humiliation due to the degrading what seemed like discriminatory comments.




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