Macy’s agrees to new anti-profiling policies at NY stores, pay $650,000 fine

Macy’s has agreed to adopt new anti-profiling policies to resolve allegations that it disproportionately targeted people of color for shoplifting at its flagship store in Herald Square.

The agreement, announced Wednesday, also requires Macy’s to pay a $650,000 fine. 

The agreement follows a civil rights investigation by the state attorney general’s office that found Macy’s employees were stopping and detaining a higher percentage of people of color for allegedly shoplifting.

The state attorney general’s office said it also reviewed several complaints from black, Latino and other customers of ethnic minority groups who were stopped at the Herald Square store. It opened its investigation in February 2013.

“Macy’s has failed to take appropriate steps to adequately and quickly address profiling issues at its New York stores,” the AG’s office said in announcing the agreement.

Macy’s Holdings Inc. said it was committed to the “ideals of diversity, inclusion and respect.” 

“To be clear, our company’s policies strictly prohibit any form of discrimination or racial profiling and any occurrence of such behavior will not be tolerated in our organization,” the company said in a statement.

The company also agreed to designate an independent expert who will report anti-profiling efforts to the attorney general’s office for three years; hire security monitor to oversee Macy’s ant-theft policies; post its Customers’ Bill of Rights in English and Spanish at its New York stores; and establish new recordkeeping of apprehensions and detentions.

The agreement with Macy’s follows a similar resolution of complaints and an investigation at Barneys New York stores.