3 Ex-Target Workers Sue over Racist “Multi-Cultural Tips” in Training Document

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here’s the multi-cultural tip of the day from Target Corp.: Not all Hispanics eat tacos and burritos.

At least that’s what three former employees of Target claim in a job discrimination lawsuit filed in Yolo County Superior Court, according to the Courthouse News Service. The suit, filed by the law offices of Ilija Cvetich in Sacramento on behalf of Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia-Ayala, says the company provided a booklet entitled “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips” to warehouse managers that contained the food tip and more.

The document allegedly brought the managers up to speed on other known facts about Hispanics: “Not everyone dances to salsa” and “not everyone wears a sombrero.” Cubans are more likely than Mexicans to be educated and political refugees with legal status, while some Mexicans may be undocumented. All of them “may say ‘OK, OK’' and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.”

The lawsuit charges that the tips are indicative of the racist behavior exhibited by Target managers, who are almost all white. All three employees claim they were fired because of race, although two of them, both 58, said age was a factor, too.

Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder released a statement that confirmed the existence of the document while distancing the company from it. She wrote: “It is never Target’s intent to offend our team members or guests and we apologize. The content of the document referenced is not representative of who Target is. . . . This document, which was used during conversations at one distribution center, was never part of any formal or company-wide training. We take accountability for its contents and are truly sorry.”

–Ken Broder 


To Learn More:

Workers Outraged at Target's "Cultural Tips" (by Elizabeth Warmerdam, Courthouse News Service)

Target Gives Managers ‘Multi-Cultural Tips’: Not All Hispanics Eat Tacos or Wear Sombreros (by Aviva Shen, ThinkProgress)

3 Hispanic Workers File Suit against Target over Racist “Multi-Cultural Training Tips” (by Abby Miller, Addiction Info)

Target Reminded Bosses Not All Hispanic Employees Eat Tacos, Wear Sombreros: Lawsuit (by Kim Bhasin, Huffington Post)

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