After an investigation launched by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Barneys agreed on Monday to settle racial profiling claims for $525,000.
The investigation began after several black people came forward claiming to have been racially profiled while shopping at the department store.
Barneys will now pay the agreed upon settlement as well as implement store procedures intended to end racial profiling.
“Profiling and racial discrimination remain a problem in our state, but not one we are willing to accept. This agreement will continue our work to ensure there’s one set of rules for everyone in public accommodations, including customers in New York’s retail establishments,” Schneiderman said. “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.”
According to Scheiderman, Barneys racially profiled customers in a number of ways. Guards used race as a determining factor for deciding who would be placed under surveillance, guards followed black shoppers even when those customers had been identified by salespeople as frequent shoppers, detectives disproportionately asked sales associates to reprint the receipts of minority customers, detectives also disproportionately called on sales associates for help investigating minority customers and some sales associates avoided minority customers so as not to be harassed by the loss prevention department.
Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, both African-American, sued the store last year after making purchases. Christian claimed he was racially profiled after purchasing a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt and Phillips said she was profiled after purchasing a $2,500 Céline bag at the store.
Christian was accused of using fake ID after he showed loss prevention officers his receipt and credit card, while Phillips said she was surrounded by cops at the subway after making her purchase.