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Bloomingdale’s Sued After Woman Alleges Discrimination

A woman has sued Bloomingdale’s, alleging the giant department store chain that offers upscale wares discriminated against her when she attempted to purchase a men’s shirt for her upcoming wedding, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cases of discrimination are typically considered when they happen to employees at work — when unqualified people get promotions or others get shunned based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, age, family status or other factors. Obtaining loans and renting apartments are two other areas where discrimination complaints are common. But discrimination in New York, New Jersey, Long Island or elsewhere can happen out in the public, as well.
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It’s a common practice in housing, especially public housing sectors, where an applicant for an apartment or house is denied for no good reason. It can also happen in the shopping sector. Some businesses may discriminate against consumers based on their skin tone or other factors that are deemed illegal.

In this case, a woman alleges she was shopping at a Bloomingdale’s in Los Angeles, hoping to purchase an outfit for her wedding in 2010. She says she walked into the men’s section of the store and was approached by a salesman, who allegedly asked her for whom she was buying a men’s shirt and then told her he wouldn’t measure her, the newspaper states.

“After some further offensive comments, (the salesman) asked, ‘Why are you buying a man’s shirt anyway? You’re a woman,'” the lawsuit states, according to the newspaper.

The woman says the incident caused her to cry and that she hasn’t brought herself to go back to the store since the whole thing happened. The department store chain reportedly offered her a free shirt, but it hasn’t been enough to lure her back.

The woman’s lawsuit, which name’s parent company Macy’s Inc. as well as Bloomingdale’s, alleges sex or sexual orientation discrimination and seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

There are a host of ways that someone can be unlawfully discriminated against, including gender, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and others. Public entities, such as restaurants, shopping centers and hotels, as well as creditors and housing institutions can’t simply not serve or not help a customer based on those characteristics.

Nor can people in the workplace be denied promotions, or employment for unlawful reasons. Both state and federal laws regulate these matters and instruct both employers as well as public entities regarding the rules and regulations.

Consulting with an experienced New York Employment Lawyer can be advantageous in assessing the situation and determining whether the allegation qualifies under the guidelines of the law.

Bloomingdale’s has 43 stores in the United States, including seven in New York and five in New Jersey, according to its web site. The chain also has a location in the United Arab Emirates.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides discrimination law legal counseling in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

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Additional Resources:

Woman sues Bloomingdale’s, says employee criticized her for buying men’s shirt, by Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times