A woman has gotten an attorney to represent her in a discrimination lawsuit against Walmart. She has accused the store of locking black hair care product in a glass case while other hair care products are left out in the open.
Essie Grundy claims that she was discriminated against on January 12 when she went into a Walmart in California. She says that the hair and skin products designed for black people were in a secure box that needed a store employee to open it.
When she asked an employee for help she was prohibited from touching the products until she bought them and in order to be able to buy them, she needed a store employee to accompany her to the register.
All Grundy wanted to do was purchase a 48-cent comb and she says she was made to feel like a criminal.
“It was something I had to stand up for,” she said at a press conference. “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.”
Gloria Allred is representing Grundy in her discrimination lawsuit against Walmart. The attorney said that a Walmart employee admitted that it was not just Grundy who had complained about the new set up. The employee also said that the order to segregate the items came from corporate.
A spokesperson for Walmart said that the company does not tolerate racial discrimination and policies like this are not implemented by corporate.
“We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”