Sam’s club, the chain’s grocery store in the United States, has been hit with a lawsuit over racial discrimination by former managers.
The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, accuses managers of using their positions of power to target minorities and other people of color, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The suit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges that managers at Sam’s clubs in the U.S. and Canada, as well as at Sams grocery store chain in the state of California, used racial slurs, derogatory terms and other discriminatory actions to treat minority and low-income customers, according the Los Angels Times.
In 2016, Sams’ chain was embroiled in a racially charged incident in which an employee at one Sams Club in the Los Angles area was allegedly asked to leave a racially offensive racial slur on a customer.
The complaint alleges that the customer, who identified himself as a Black woman, was subjected to a “shocking and humiliating” experience, according with the Los Santos Times.
It alleges that employees at Sam-s Club and its parent company, Walmart, violated the Equal Access to Work and Opportunity Act, and that Walmart, which owns Sams stores, engaged in a pattern of retaliatory and discriminatory behavior against its employees.
Walmart has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
In 2017, Sam’s chain announced a plan to hire more minority employees to fill positions in its food service department.
Sams CEO Jeff Schonfield, who took the helm in July 2017, pledged to hire at least 1,000 minority employees at the chain in 2020.
In September 2017, Walmart agreed to a $2 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which alleged that the retailer discriminated against minority customers by discriminating against them on the basis of race and gender.