An Old Navy employee was fired from a Toronto-area store after an aggressive racial profiling incident was filmed and shared on social media.
Lisa Calderon uploaded three videos to her Facebook and Instagram accounts on June 10, which shows a retail employee named “Stephanie” follow Calderon around the mall, and grab her arm.
Calderon’s ordeal began when she visited an Old Navy location at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
"I was racially profiled in Old Navy at Square One Shopping Centre today," she wrote on Facebook.
"I felt uncomfortable so instead of exchanging my merchandise there or buying the white dress I tried on, I decided to go somewhere else, I even went as far as to voice my concern to staff before leaving the store."
Calderon wrote that Stephanie came up to her in Brown’s, and accused her of stealing the shirt she was wearing.
When Calderon expressed that she came into the store with the shirt on, and simply didn’t remove the tag, that’s when the situation escalated.
“She then proceeded to put her hands on me in front of security guard,” says Calderon. In the video three security guards are present and watching while Stephanie refuses to let go of Calderon’s arm.
Stephanie claims in the video that she has video proof that Calderon stole the shirt, which she did not.
She says she was ‘irate’ as Stephanie refused to let go of her, even after repeatedly telling the employee not to touch her. Eventually, she says security guards told Stephanie to let go of Calderon, and she had to go back to the store and wait for the manager.
A third video shows Stephanie back at Old Navy while the manager apologizes to her on camera, and admits their employees should never touch customers. Calderon says they took down her information and said they would give it to the district manager.
“Guys I cried cause I never thought in a million years this would happen to me,” she wrote on social media.”
“I would’ve been more calm and understanding if she didn’t accuse me first, and would’ve been happy to show my receipt,” she said. “Stephanie had no Right to aggressively lay her hands on me.”
Calderon’s videos across social media have more than a million views combined. Old Navy ended up issuing a public apology on their Twitter account after many came to Calderon’s defence and to shame the company.
"We are so sorry that our customer Lisa Calderon had an unacceptable experience in one of our stores, and we apologize for letting her down. We investigated quickly and thoroughly," the apology read.
They also said that “Stephanie” no longer works at Old Navy.
The apology got a mixed response on social media.
1. Your manager needs to be fired.. because someone had to have given Stephanie the “okay” to follow the customer out the door.. 2. Touching someone is never okay an employee violated your policy on Interaction with consumers— Smash Ketchum (@educatingcoco) June 13, 2019
I will never shop at Old Navy Again !!! Absolutely disgusting !!— Erin (@Ejaos0914) June 13, 2019
Calderon wrote on Facebook that the district manager of Old Navy called her and she is fairly pleased with the response.
“A national sensitivity training (possibly international), will be conducted with all employees. Thanks for your love and continued support, if you know me, you know that I really appreciate it."