Walmart is facing a discrimination lawsuit for locking up Black hair care products in glass cases, while leaving non-ethnic products and skincare out in the open.
According to NBC 4 Los Angeles, Essie Grundy claims that on Jan. 12 she was discriminated against in a California Walmart when a clerk allegedly prohibited from touching any of the Black hair products, which were locked up in a glass case, until she had actually purchased them. Grundy also says she was told that if she wanted to buy them, an employee was required to accompany her to a register.
Grundy says she felt like she was being treated like a criminal, all for a 48-cent comb.
In a recent press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred by her side, Grundy stressed: “It was something I had to stand up for. 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.”
Allred added that a Walmart employee admitted that other customers have been complaining about the locked cases, but the decision to segregate black hair-care and beauty products was an order from corporate.
However, Walmart says they do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
“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. 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,” a spokesman said.