New Jersey Woman Sues CVS for $1M for Racist Receipt
A New Jersey woman of Korean decent is suing CVS for $1 million after claiming that a store employee used a racial Asian slur on her receipt.
Hyun Lee, 37, of Egg Harbor, N.J., was picking up photos from a CVS, also in Egg Harbor, N.J., when she noticed that the cashier had identified her as “Ching Chong Lee” on her receipt.
According to her attorney, Lee contacted CVS customer relations, but was apparently told by CVS in an email response that the employee would be “counseled and trained.”
“He should have been terminated immediately,” Lee said through her attorney, Susan Chana Lask, to ABCNews.com. “She never got an apology. She never got anything further after she complained.”
Unhappy with CVS’ response, Lee filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against CVS Caremark Corp., CVS Pharmacy, Inc., CVS, New Jersey CVS Pharmacy LLC and the unnamed cashier on April 16 in federal court in Camden, N.J.
“It appears that the employee is still there,” Lask said. “She will not return to that CVS until that employee is removed.” Lask said they do not know the race of the cashier.
Lee is seeking $1 million due to “injury, mental anguish, severe emotional distress, harm, and damages,” that she allegedly continues to suffer from as a result of the alleged receipt, according to the lawsuit.
“CVS/pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect,” Michael DeAngelis, spokesperson for CVS, told ABCNews.com. “We have a firm non-discrimination policy. While the allegations in the complaint are not in keeping with our values or our policies, we cannot comment on a matter involving pending litigation.”
Lee and her attorney believe that CVS’ statement is insufficient. “If they’re committed to treating all of their customers with dignity and respect, we feel they should have a zero tolerance level for this discrimination,” Lask said.
Other companies have also had to apologize for their employees using racial or ethnic slurs on receipts.
Papa John’s fired an employee last January after a customer received a receipt, which called her “lady chinky eyes.” The restaurant chain later apologized to the customer.
In Irvine, Calif., a Chick-Fil-A cashier was fired in 2011 after reportedly using “Ching” and “Chong” to identify two Asian-American customers, according to ABC affiliate KABC.
A court date for Lee’s lawsuit against CVS has not yet been determined.