Former employees of a Target warehouse in Woodland, California are suing the retailer over alleged racial racism and retaliation, citing a document that they claim was distributed to managers reminding them that not all Hispanics eat tacos and burritos or dance to salsa.
In the suit, three former male employees who are Hispanic claim “Caucasian Target managers regularly used racial slurs” while addressing them and other Hispanic employees, including: “What the hell, I’m already sweating like a Mexican” and “Only a ‘wet-back’ can work this hard.”
The three workers, Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia-Ayala, claimed they got fired after they notified the human resources department, according to the court papers.
“It can be very traumatic, especially for women who are targeted in some cases. In some cases, it’s ignorance, but in light of that, it’s a violation of law that may be proven in court,” said Al Rojas, an immigrant and labor rights activist who is not connected to this case.
“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,” said company spokesperson Molly Snyder.
“We strive at all times to be a place where our team and guests feel welcome, valued and respected. This document, which was used during conversations at one distribution center, was never part of any formal or company-wide training,” she continued. “We take accountability for its contents and are truly sorry.”
The employees’ attorneys say they are not yet ready to speak publicly about the case.