A New Jersey woman is suing CVS for discrimination after receiving a receipt carrying a racial slur. The women, who identifies as an “adult ethnic Korean,” received a receipt reading “ching chong,” a common racial slur targeted against Asian-Americans.
According to the Smoking Gun, Hyun Jin Lee was picking up photos from a CVS pharmacy in Egg Harbor City, N.J., when she discovered that an employee had changed her name to “Ching Chong Lee” on the receipt.
Lee complained to CVS's corporate customer relations about the ethnic slur, asking, “Does the name in any way match my name? ... Do you think it’s funny? It’s very disturbing to me!” according to the lawsuit.
Later, CVS responded to Lee’s complaint about the ethnic slur, stating that the employee would be “counseled and trained” but not fired. The unnamed employee reportedly still works for the Egg Harbor City CVS.
Lee is now launching a federal discrimination lawsuit against CVS Caremark Corp., CVS Pharmacy, Inc., CVS, New Jersey CVS Pharmacy LLC and the cashier, seeking $1 million for “injury, mental anguish, severe emotional distress, harm, and damages.” The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, does not specify the age, race or gender of the CVS employee who used the slur.
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CVS has responded to the lawsuit, and while the corporation could not comment on the status of the offending employee, CVS stated that it has a firm nondiscrimination policy.
“ "We have a firm nondiscrimination 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 stated that CVS’s non-apology is not enough retribution, especially considering that the employee is reportedly still employed at the same CVS pharmacy.
“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,” Lee’s attorney, Susan Chana Lask, said to ABC.
A court date has not been set for the lawsuit.