Any type of business in Louisiana could face accusations of illegal practices, such as racial profiling or discrimination. Whether a company is part of a large corporation or is a small, locally-owned business, an accusation from a customer can result in a complex and costly lawsuit. Walmart has been ordered to pay more than $4 million from a lawsuit that alleges that an employee harassed and profiled a customer when the individual was shopping in the store.
Allegations of discriminatory treatment
The plaintiff, who is Black, claimed he was treated unfairly when he was in a Walmart location shopping for a lightbulb. The lawsuit alleges that an employee spied on the man, ultimately demanding that he leave the store. When the man did not leave, the employee threatened to call the police. The employee also said that he would tell the police the plaintiff tried to harm him.
Lawyers for the plaintiff say that the police did not take any action against him. They reportedly also stated that the employee had a history of making claims against customers. Managers at the store stated that they had recently experienced a significant amount of theft as an explanation for the suspicion the employee had against the plaintiff.
The potential impact of litigation
While $4 million may not seem like a significant financial loss for the retail giant Walmart, that type of financial loss could be devastating for many Louisiana businesses. This is one reason why it is important for a company to take steps to implement policies that will lower the chance of discrimination allegations. However, if a lawsuit is filed, it is in the interests of the business to tenaciously defend its interests.