Some people never seem to learn.

It’s not the first time, and apparently not the last either.

The latest involves a New Jersey woman who found another Asian slur on her receipt from a CVS in Atlantic County.

Enter a lawyer in this case, who’s suing the pharmaceutical giant for $1 million saying her client was discriminated against, and has suffered depression in the wake of the incident.

The woman went to pick up photos being developed at a CVS pharmacy in Egg Harbor City and that’s where the trouble started.

“She got a receipt, and on the receipt instead of her customer name, Hyun Lin Lee, they put in the name Ching Chong Lee, which is a racial slur,” says her attorney, Susan Chana Lask.

She says her client was very depressed, then immediately emailed CVS’s customer service. They responded with a promise to counsel and train William, the cashier and employee, who gave Lee the receipt.

“It is unlawful, there are federal laws – discrimination laws- that prohibit this kind of act,” says Lask. “When you walk into a public place, such as CVS, you expect service and being treated like a human being. You don’t expect this kind of intolerable behavior.”

She points out a federal lawsuit has been filed in Camden District Court alleging racial discrimination, which in New Jersey and many states is considered a bias crime, asking $1 million in punitive damages.

“The one million should hit them enough to make sure that they train their employees right and not just respond with, ‘Oh, we’ll counsel him,’” says Lask. “It’s as close to the N word as you can get.”

“She was shocked, she felt terrible, and on top of it she’s seven months pregnant. She’s obviously Asian, she does look different than Caucasians, she felt very embarrassed.”
Lask stresses what happened is intolerable, and there should be a zero-tolerance for this kind of behavior, which is a form of bullying.

“It starts with people bullying others because of their color, their race, their sexual orientation, and to use receipts in corporate environments. It’s very shocking and it must be taken seriously.”

Late yesterday, a CVS spokesman issued a press release:

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect and we have a firm non-discrimination policy. While the allegations in the complaint are not in keeping with our values or our policies, we cannot comment on a matter involving pending litigation.”

It still amazes me how some employees of stores like Papa John’s and CVS think it’s funny to print disparaging remarks about customers on their receipts and think they’re going to get away with it.

Also, you have to wonder if retraining the employee suffices or just an outright firing would be in order.



A firing and an apology would be the more judicious outcome.