Walmart racial discrimination lawsuit

February 7, 2018

On January 26, 2018, an African-American woman filed a lawsuit against a Walmart in Southern California after she was walked to the cash register to pay for black beauty products. She was at the store in Perris, California and observed that the cosmetics for black women were locked up while other cosmetics for other races were not similarly locked.

She wanted to buy a bottle of lotion and had to ask an employee to unlock the anti-theft cabinet and walk to the register with her before she could even hold the product. She felt like store personnel treated her like a thief even though she did not have any criminal history. She told journalists that she does not want anyone else to suffer the same experience.

Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, the well-known women’s rights attorney, reported that she is asking for an apology. She also wants the ethnic products removed from storage.

However, the retail conglomerate defended the measures, claiming that they are working to prevent shoplifting. A company statement indicated that some products, including automotive and electronics, are under additional security, and that the locking up of products is not limited to personal-care products. Every store makes its own decisions about what to lock up based on applicable data.

While some shoppers defended Walmart’s actions, other customers claimed that the anti-theft cases are common measures at Walmart and similar retail stores. In December 2016, three Virginia Walmarts were accused of similar discriminatory practices due to their tightened security on black hair products. Two of the stores have since quit the controversial practice.

Barneys and Macy’s also settled out-of-court lawsuits after their security personnel reportedly detained a disproportionate number of minorities. Additionally, shoppers at CVS have accused the pharmacy of locking up black cosmetics. New York City detectives also sued CVS stores in a racial discrimination lawsuit after their superiors reportedly told them to keep a closer eye on Hispanic and black customers, targeting them for possible shoplifting crimes.

If you believe that you have been the target of racial discrimination, you need a seasoned legal team to represent you. Contact us today for assistance.

CategoryCivil Rights Law
  1. April 21, 2019

    Hello, I was at a Walmart store in Florida today shopping as usual. I suddenly get approached by an Associate Assert Protection lady asking me if my name was Ana. I go its Anam. She goes were you ever employed at Walmart in September? I said no never!!!. she goes are you sure? Because you just trespassed this Walmart? I am like What???? What are you talking about I have worked at Walmart?!!! she goes whats yoir last name? i told her my last name and she storms off because I wasnt the person! I was racial profiled and I didnt get any apology. The face that they thought I was a former criminal employee and handled it inappropriately is shocking!!!!!! They should’ve gotten their facts straight before accusing an educated customer who is going to medical school as someone who use to work at walmart thst is a criminal , why because i resembled the girl?!!!!! I need your help in this!

  2. April 9, 2020

    If anyone know of a good Attorney we are looking for one!!!

    Please be advised that If anyone know of a good Attorney we are looking for one!!! To rep the interests of Daryll and Lisa Triplett and their company, Hair 911, Inc., who were the targets of an unlawful campaign of horrendous race discrimination and retaliation at the hands of Walmart management and employees.

    We are placing Walmart on notice that we intend to pursue a claim against Walmart
    for this conduct. Please allow this letter to serve as formal notification of this claim.

    A. INTRODUCTION

    The Tripletts, who are African-American, and their company, Hair 911, Inc. have been
    the victims of a targeted campaign of racially motivated harassment (including racially
    humiliating and threatening text messages) and a pattern of discrimination that has destroyed
    their business with Walmart. This conduct by Walmart employees is the byproduct of a system
    the discriminates insidiously against minority businesses and treats these businesses and their
    products as second-class. In addition to destroying their business, the racially harassing and
    threatening conduct of Walmart’s employees has caused the Tripletts severe anxiety and fright,
    and has taken a huge emotional toll on these hard-working African-American entrepreneurs.
    Walmart’s response was to brush the threatening conduct under the rug, and, shortly thereafter,
    to retaliate against the Tripletts by not only terminating the Hair 911 relationship, but also to
    terminate, without warning, the relationship with the Tripletts’ other business, the Lisa T
    Collection.

    Put another way, Walmart’s systemic treatment of minority-owned business effectively
    put the Tripletts in the back of the Walmart bus, and the racially threatening text messages by
    Walmart employees effectively burned a cross in front of their house. On behalf of the Tripletts,
    we are prepared to present both direct and circumstantial evidence that the conduct of Wal-Mart
    and its employees was and is in blatant violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Georgia state law.
    Walmart’s failure to right these wrongs has left the Tripletts with no other option but to seek
    legal action.

    B. THE POWDER KEG: THREATENING TEXT MESSAGES

    On November 27, 2018, Daryll Triplett was the recipient of racially humiliating, horrifying,
    and threatening texts in a chain with Walmart Store 301 employee Joni Owen. The text of these
    messages is as follows:

    7:59 PM Group Text Message between Joni Owen, Daryll Triplett, and unknown person:

    – So is this one of the fat ass niggers your fucking Joni? I’m not gonna waste my breath…… You
    can fill him nigger lover. I won’t say another word to this fuck I’ll bring you a momento from his
    black ass

    8:06 PM Text Message from Daryll:

    – Who is this?

    Understandably, Mr. Triplett immediately brought this issue to the attention of Walmart CEO
    Doug McMillon and attached the text messages. Mr. Triplett received no response.
    Then on November 29, 2018, within 30 minutes of reaching out to Ms. Owen, Mr. Triplett
    again received a string of racially threatening and harassing texts, as follows:

    11:31 AM Text from Unknown Number (938-223-0616)

    – Nigger I will be to see you black ass ….. Im telling you know motherfucker you will go with me
    …. You will not have a choice
    11:32 AM

    – Your fuxking aas has stepped in a world of mess motherfuker

    – You call or text this nigger love bitch I will break yojr mother fucking neck bitch

    – You and any motherfucker you can find tk go with you
    11:33 AM

    – Dick sucker……

    Mr. Triplett again brought this to the attention of Mr. McMillon and also to Walmart Global
    Investigations. Despite asking many times for details about the investigation, Mr. Triplett never
    received a response other than, on January 7, 2019, an email stating, “We worked with the business
    to resolve these concerns internally and have closed this matter.”

    C. MEET THE TRIPLETTS

    By way of context, it’s helpful for Walmart to understand who the Tripletts are and what
    an amazing impression they will make upon a jury. Daryll Triplett is a former Columbus, Ohio
    police officer with 25 years of experience. He is a big-hearted, gregarious guy who also is a
    standup comic (“Officer Keep it Real”). Lisa Triplett is a soft-spoken, beautiful woman with
    ingenuity, persistence, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

    Daryll and Lisa formed Hair 911 to fill a niche: luxury-quality genuine human hair
    extensions that also were affordable. Although Lisa’s face was on the packaging, the product
    was marketed to woman of all races. The Tripletts and Hair 911 began doing business with
    Walmart in early 2017 as a vendor. Hair 911 began growing: making sales, expanding into 80+
    Walmart stores, and getting great reviews. The Tripletts’ other Walmart vendor business, the
    Lisa T Collection, marketed upscale fashion women’s clothing and shoes. The Lisa T Collection
    was available via Walmart online.

    In a nutshell, the Tripletts are an American success story. A hard-working African-
    American couple with the creativity to find niche markets and with the drive to actually create

    products to sell in those niche markets. And they relied on Walmart to perform as a true partner
    in the business relationship. You would be hard-pressed to find clients who would make a more
    favorable impact on a jury.

    D. CRACKS IN THE WALMART FAÇADE

    From the beginning of the business relationship with Walmart, the Tripletts were exposed
    to a racially discriminatory system and conduct. In late 2016, Mr. Triplett traveled to Walmart
    headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas to pitch the Hair 911 company and product. The initial
    buyer with whom the Tripletts met, a white female, rushed the meeting and eventually shunted
    them to the “multi-cultural hair care department.” This was so despite the Tripletts representing
    that Hair 911 was not just an “African-American Product,” but a product for all women. Another
    Walmart buyer, an African-American female, stated that Walmart never would approve an
    “ethnic hairline” for a modularization rollout. The Tripletts again responded that the Hair 911
    product was not a “multi-cultural hair care product,” but a product for all women. This buyer
    then suggested that the Tripletts, a small minority business, travel to individual Walmart stores
    and pitch their product to individual store managers.

    Undeterred, the Tripletts began to do just that, and eventually began selling Hair 911
    products in over 80 Walmart stores. Critically, they removed Ms. Triplett’s face from the
    packaging so that their products would “pass” for Walmart.
    During the early stage of the vendor process, the Hair 911 buyer was moved to a different
    department and not replaced. This is critical, as a vendor’s most important contact with

    Walmart, and all the Walmart processes and procedures, is the buyer. The buyer gives guidance
    on all aspects of the vendor relationship with Walmart, especially invoicing.

    Walmart’s removal of Hair 911’s buyer effectively left the Tripletts to deal with
    individual stores, and all the attendant logistics and invoicing, as best they could, and while they
    were trying to grow their business by visiting different stores to pitch the Hair 911 product.
    Although the Tripletts tried their best, with no buyer, to comply with Walmart’s individual store
    vendor system, Walmart claimed that the Tripletts made various invoicing errors. In other
    words, removal of their buyer left the Tripletts hung out to dry, with inevitable mistakes.

    E. THE TEXT MESSAGES AND FALLOUT

    In the fall of 2018, while the Tripletts were attempting, without a buyer, to resolve and
    fix all the billing and invoicing issues with Walmart, all while trying to grow their business in
    more stores, Mr. Triplett received the racially humiliating and threatening text messages. The
    timing of the following conduct by Walmart is critical in understanding the Triplett’s claims.
    On November 27 and 29, 2018, Mr. Triplett received the threatening text messages and
    reported them to Walmart. Walmart allegedly performs its own investigation while also
    pursuing the invoicing issue with the Tripletts. On January 7, 2019, after much prodding by Mr.
    Triplett, Walmart finally responds that it has “worked with the business to resolve these concerns
    internally and [has] closed this matter.” Walmart refused to answer Mr. Triplett’s reasonable
    requests about whether Walmart had determined if the threats to him were credible and
    continued to pursue the alleged improper invoicing issue. Then, out of the blue, on January 17,
    2019, Walmart sends a letter offering to “wipe out” the purported over $500,000 that Wal-Mart
    claimed it was owed in exchange for a full release and termination of the Hair 911/Wal-Mart
    business relationship. The Tripletts refused to execute this release. Then, in March and/or April
    2019, Walmart without announcement or warning removed all Lisa T Collection products
    from its online store.

    F. LIABILITY AND DAMAGES

    What Wal-Mart has done to the Tripletts is the culmination of a pattern and practice of
    overt and covert discrimination against minority-owned vendors like the Tripletts. Wal-Mart’s
    termination of the Hair 911 and Lisa T Collection vendor relationships shortly after Mr. Triplett
    complained of the racially abusive emails is clear retaliation against the Tripletts for alerting
    Wal-Mart of the racial abuse and harassment that the Tripletts were forced to endure. This
    conduct by Walmart constitutes a clear case of race discrimination and retaliation, in violation of
    42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Georgia law. Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, this only is the latest in a string
    of racially discriminatory behavior and business practices, including discrimination in how it
    sells and markets what it deems to be African-American beauty products. (see, e.g.,

    Basically, Walmart accused the Tripletts of double invoicing. The Tripletts contend that they received
    many instances of their merchandise having not been received by the individual stores, but the Tripletts had proof of delivery, and that Walmart Retail Link instructed them to resubmit their invoices.

    http://fortune.com/2019/02/06/walmart-hair-products-discrimination/).

    Exposure to Walmart’s discriminatory environment and behavior has ruined the Tripletts
    financially and emotionally. They have lost their businesses (over $800,000 in actual damages)
    and their home (an additional $320,000 in rent owed). Further, the Tripletts have been forced to
    endure not just the emotional stress and harm of being the targets of racially abusive text
    messages by Walmart employees, but also the fear of not knowing if the threats were credible.
    Walmart worsened these fears by refusing to tell the Tripletts the answer even to that simple
    question.

    This is a dangerous case: it will survive a summary judgment motion and will proceed to
    a jury. As stated above, the Tripletts are upstanding entrepreneurs who will make a positive
    impression on a jury regardless of venue. Their businesses have been ruined by Walmart’s
    discriminatory conduct and its retaliation.

  3. April 30, 2020

    Hello, I am a 24 year old African American woman also EMT-B, CNA, BHT (all certified) and I have a current valid CCW. I was denied purchasing a gun in Walmart in Springfield Missouri 3/2020 I had to come back a week later to verify denial as no one called me and when I asked why I was denied since I have a CCW they were unable to provide any valid reason for denial.
    I believe even with a CCW Walmart disproportionally denies guns to African Americans. My brother who applied with me was also denied when I tell you no criminal background, license to carry, money to buy and still denied leaves the ladder to be more plausible.

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