Barney’s To Pay $525,000 For Racial Discrimination

August 11, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

After an investigation into Barney’s racist profiling practices, the company has agreed to pay out a settlement of $525,000. Starting in 2012, Barney’s was accused of targeting minorities for surveillance and suspicion by several shoppers and former employees. The investigation found that black and Hispanic customers were followed and accused of shoplifting and fraud much more frequently than others who entered the store that year.

“As part of the deal, Barneys agreed to pay the $525,000 in fines and legal expenses, to hire an ‘anti-profiling consultant’ for two years, to update its detention policy and to improve training of security and sales personnel,” writes the Daily News.

Many of the investigated complaints were from frequent customers who were harassed based on their race.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office released this statement today:

After its investigation, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau concluded that Barneys did not have comprehensive written policies regarding racial profiling; use of objective, race-neutral criteria for investigating potential shoplifting and/or credit card fraud; use of excessive force and handcuffs, or treatment of detainees. The Bureau also concluded that Barneys lacked consistent recordkeeping policies with respect to stops and detentions made by its loss-prevention employees or by local law enforcement.

Schneiderman added that “this agreement will correct a number of wrongs, both by fixing past policies and by monitoring the actions of Barneys and its employees to make sure that past mistakes are not repeated.” (Photo: purpletwinkie)