U.S. News

Black shoppers sue Toys 'R' Us for discrimination

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two black shoppers have sued Toys “R” Us saying they were subjected to racial discrimination and unjustified scrutiny at a store in New York.

Patricia Drayton and Valerie Kirk said in the lawsuit that the store in The Bronx, a borough of New York City, discriminated against them by asking them to show their sales receipts. The suit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday.

Drayton said in the lawsuit that she was stopped by a security guard at the door of the store and asked to show her receipt. After refusing to do so, she was made to wait while the employee checked with a cashier to see if she had purchased the merchandise, the lawsuit said.

According to court documents, Kirk was told by a man working at the story that Toys “R” Us’s policy required that she show her receipt to him prior to leaving the story. Kirk said in the suit that she refused to comply and was banned from shopping there.

The lawsuit said black shoppers are subjected to compulsory inspection of their sales receipts while white shoppers are not.

The women are asking the court to give the suit class action status to represent all black shoppers who have been subjected to the same procedures by Toys “R” Us.

Metro One, which provides loss prevention services to retail stores, and several people employed by the two companies are also being sued by the women.

They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of at least $200 million each on behalf of the class.

Representatives for Toys “R” Us and Metro One were not available for comment.

Toys “R” Us, the country’s second-largest toy retailer, is owned by a consortium that includes Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust.

The company still reports its financial performance because some of its bonds are publicly traded.

Additional reporting by Justin Grant