Employees of the Broadway Apple Store charged with racial discrimination in lawsuit

Employees of the Broadway Apple Store charged with racial discrimination in lawsuit
According to a lawsuit filed in New York, on December 9, 2010, Brian Johnston, 34, and Nile Charles, 25 walked into the Apple Store on Broadway. The two black men, wearing "baggy jeans and large sweaters with hoods", had entered the store in search of a pair of headphones to purchase.

The men claim that at around 3:20pm, they were confronted by a white Apple Store employee in his 50's, 6 foot 2 inches in height and about 225 pounds, who invaded their "personal space" in an intimidating fashion. He said to the pair, "You know the deal. You know the deal". The employee told Johnston and Charles that they had to either make a purchase or see a Mac specialist. But before they could respond, the pair were told that they were not welcome in the store because of their race. The lawsuit quotes the employee as saying, "And before you say I'm racially discriminating against you, let me stop you. I am discriminating against you, I don't want 'your kind' hanging out in the store."

Using a cellphone to record the conversation, Johnston and Charles-by now feeling "shocked and humiliated"-were told by another employee, "Now you have to go, If you want to know why, it's because I said so. CONSIDER ME GOD. You have to go." When the duo tried to speak to a manager, the store's head of security allegedly ignored them. The pair finally found a manager and discussed the situation with him. But our story does not end here. The plaintiffs say in the complaint that, "In order to further harass, degrade, humiliate, and discriminate against Plaintiffs, the manager asked Defendant's Head of Security to call 911," which resulted in the pair being prevented from their "right to purchase property because of their race."

Johnston and Charles are asking the court for punitive damages because of "emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses." The suit accuses Apple of discrimination under both New York and federal civil rights laws. Last year, another lawsuit accused an Apple Store in Orlando of age discrimination when a store employee in his 60's said he was not given a promotion due to his age.

source: AppleInsider

This law suit charges employees of the Apple Store on Broadway with racial discrimination

This law suit charges employees of the Apple Store on Broadway with racial discrimination



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Wow is Apple that crazy to do this? See this is what happens when Steve Jobs if left alone to brainwash their employees! I am NOT shocked that Apple would breed this kind of behavior. I hold Apple responsible for this. People should be able to buy or go to an Apple store without any ramifications. Google will never do this to you. Buy Android not Apple. lol This was all a joke. I was kidding, but all joking aside no one should ever be made to feel this way. What they did is horrible, they are giving negative press to Apple. I am sure this is against everything Apple stands for. My good friend works for Apple & he says they in no way promote this crude behavior!

39. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

ya thats bad if they actually did this... but really, doesnt their story sound kinda off? Three seperate employees racially discriminated them? idk seems pretty far... i mean it is possible, but at any self-respecting company, i doubt their employees wud do this, especially at apple... also, this doesnt mention at all what the people were doing... what if they were trying to steal something... it doesnt really say their actions...

40. Aneasybuck unregistered

Finally... Some common sense...

47. evo-ninja

Posts: 31; Member since: May 23, 2011

wat tha ¥£ll @Lucas777

50. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

It says what they were doing. They were shopping for headphones. Apple stores have great headphones especially the beats line. If this did happen then judging from the speed that Apple employees swoop on customers to help them after they enter a store it probably happened before they got to the headphones in the back of the store. Maybe they were eyeing the Macs or ipads or ipods on display on their way back, but who doesn't oogle the pretty Apple stuff when they walk in. That's why its there. And I won't even mention the recording.

58. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

im just sayin three seperate employees? that either had a cause or didnt happen... idk even at any company, what is the probabilty three seperate employees wud do that... and really, the recording could be so easily created... they might just wanna be in this for the money

62. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The conversation was recorded on a cell phone. Ouch. I don't think this is typical of Apple employees everywhere though. In my experience they're dicks to everyone.

68. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i doubt u have ever been in an apple store... but thats besides the point... how hard is it to fabricate the cell phone recording?

69. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I've been in apple stores about five times now. Yes, I had to vigorously cleanse my soul afterward. The recording could be fabricated, but that's for the court and not you or I to decide.

53. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

apparently steve jobs put on some weight....

2. bubba78

Posts: 57; Member since: May 23, 2011

I say this whole story is BS. Highly unlikely that every employee they tried to talk to was racist.

4. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Supposedly they recorded the conversations with their phone. If that is true then what else can be said?

10. Aneasybuck unregistered

Just because they recorded it means nothing.... If all the employees were saying something then these guys obviously said something racial to the employees first and didn't record what they said... I have lived in NYC all my life and seen this kind of race bating to con businesses out of money when these people are usually the racist... After the entire incident the the store camera system is played with these guys recording side by side; these guys should then be sue within an inch of their lives... They usually are the real racist... Its kind funny that in NYC their is only racism to black people even if a black person is supposedly doing it but if a white kid gets killed or beaten while being called racial term by a majority... Then the lunny news says its ok.... Racism is everywhere... People only think of this crap because of racist people promoting this like Al Sharpton... He needs to be sued. America can get beyond this but first we need to stop telling people that they are different because of the color of their skin and promoting racist hiring practices by the EEOC.

26. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

@Aneasybuck, just because you were not smart enough to think about doing something like this that it really did not happen. Things like this happen everyday and the fact that the victims recorded it was AWESOME. Get over that racial profiling does not exist and even if the victims did use racial words to the employee gives no right to the idiot employee from Apple to stoop their level. If you cannot keep your composure, then quit your job, because there are many people out there that can and are out of work.

28. Aneasybuck unregistered

It's a fact that there is way to false claims and hardly ever claims of racial bias in the opposing manner because of this type of racial bullying. This is why in NYC, the real winners are the law firms. By the way; I recently had an IQ test done for NYU admissions and even though I feel like an idiot. Unfortunately all it showed me is that most of the people around this area are just that dumb. PS: your composure is great to look up too. Just because you can hide behind a computer to talk of racial bias... I have a question for you? Do you thing their was racial bias in the 2008 Presidential Election?

5. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

@bubba78 You missed that whole recorded conversation part huh? This was all over the news here in NY last year. I'm guessing the case will be settled or Apple will toss the employees under the bus.

35. Aneasybuck unregistered

How about the Jewish kid who was beat two years ago in Harlem while being called all kinds of racist terms... All the media(Newspapers and Television) did was interviewed the parents of the accused who said that their kid didn't have a racist bones in their bodies. They were talking about the attacker and the story was then never pursued for more than a day because their is only racism against blacks. There is supposedly no such thing as Racism against any form of whites. Its all about spreading hate. It has been this way for some time now in NYC. I feel that people who are accusing people in most cases should be sued for racism their selves because they are looking for an easy buck. I have seen so many false claims of racism that the media jumped on. About 4 years ago a black man was shot a couple dozen times(Cops can empty a clip in three seconds) and the three cops were supposedly racist but weeks later Al Shapton slowed but still didn't stop after he found out that 2 of the cops were black and 1 Asian. Then he said that they were doing the white mans wishes... This is the crumbling society we live in... We can get beyond this if people like Al Shapton with his race baiting and his telling people to sue because they are black. This case would best be decided in court but if these men are lying about some of the facts; They should be sued within an inch of their lives...

8. bubba78

Posts: 57; Member since: May 23, 2011

No I read the part about it being recorded, but that could be anybody on the recording if it is just an audio recording, if it is video then its hard to argue that. It just seems like such an extreme case of racism. If it did happen then those employees need to be fired for sure.

18. Apple Fanboy unregistered

na, its not BS, I worked for Apple's Apple Care (tech support over the phone) first off, most of the customers are racist as well if they hear a different language/accent, im a Mexican teenager, born here in AZ but still consider myself Mexican, went to school here, graduated from high school and going to college, I have no accent, however, a co-worker of mine does have a light accent and was asked if they were even located here in the US and got crap talked to by the customer even though they have almost no accent and was of great help, now when it comes to the stores, I have to agree with the article, as a Mexican in Phoenix, AZ, I know how it is, but when I walk into the Biltmore store of a company I worked for and am looked down upon for my race, that really pisses me off, just because its a fancy store where rich white people go to shop, I've purchased an iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad 2, every iphone, black AND white since the 3G, and other products from there and still get looked down upon for my race? thats ridiculous, no one should endure that treatment, and I will honestly say, I love my Apple products but this is a case against the employees, not the company, and hopefully they screw the employees up with the lawsuit, they deserve it /rant

22. Aneasybuck unregistered

I don't know how bad the Anti-American teaching is but have heard that AZ is becoming one of the worst offenders where it comes to educating our children. Sounds like you have a racial issue with white people. Never mind the fact that a company is much more likely to micromanage a work for outside the country giving those rep less empowerment then an American rep who usually could do more. Also I hang up many times if a thick accent is on the other side; not because I racist but because it is felt that they don't understand where I'm coming from on most issued brought up. IE:A person who acts like a robot in India for Dell tech but I love talking to people in the Phillipines because they feel like in many cases Americans. Most White people I know are marrying people with all different types of skin color and the only racism I keep hearing about is usually out of LEFT field...

25. Apple Fanboy unregistered

na man i dont have a problem with "white people" lol i have a problem with ignorant human beings, just people that cant see a human as a human but has to put other things, such as color, or where they come from in front of them being a human being lol thats what i have a problem with man

29. Aneasybuck unregistered

Nice.... I agree...

65. forsaken77 unregistered

I don't think you're looked down upon because you're a different race. I think it's more likely because you're specifically Mexican and it's more of a political thing that's pissing people off in this country. Like you said... you're an American that was born here, but I'm sure you obviously know that this country is being FLOODED with illegals from all over the world, mostly being Mexican. I don't think it's because you're hispanic, but more so because people probably think you're illegal. It's unfortunate but our government has done nothing to stop the revolving door at the borders and you're grouped in with the border jumpers

51. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

@bubba only the first person said something remotely racist. And while I think there is a good chance it was racist, fact remains he didn't say a racial slur. Now the second person and security didn't say anything racist. The second person likened himself to god most likely as a way to assert his authority. So calling this bs because not everyone is racist is a misnomer at best. @aneasybuck I totally agree that America is way too focused on racism against black people. I agree its so focused it ignores other ethnicities. However that doesn't make it less real. True there are many scumbags that use reverse racism as a tool to make "aneasybuck" but again that doesn't make this the case. And I agree that what happened before the recording should be considered however the employees should be mature and responsible enough to not be goaded into letting person bias control the actions that represent a corporation. Most retail companies make employees watch boring 2 decade old videos to avoid this. If there wasn't any racism intended this is a good example of watch what you say, especially when you represent a prominent company

3. oddmanout

Posts: 443; Member since: May 22, 2009

They need to be fired. Pronto. This is 2011... People should be over racism and discrimination by now. Its sad to see monsters like those think they are superior to anyone. Its one way to feel a certain way about someone but to take it to that extent and verbally express that feeling. Its sickening to see people like that living on their high horse without a doubt in their mind that they are wrong. I'd send them to prison for degrading a race like that!

6. ATTCallCenter unregistered

The store rep clearly said he was not being racist, he didn't want to serve the "KIND" of people they represented. Not african americans, but ghetto thug types, who are known for stealing and crime of the like. Now you see the same dressed person who is white, hispanic, anything, this rep would still act the same way. This is the defense :P

11. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You should never judge a book by its cover. Just because you dress like you said "ghetto thug types" doesn't mean they have no money & are going to steal. If you have a security system in place like most stores do then this is beyond that. Only act if you have something to act on. Looks is not a reason to act like those employees did at that Apple store! To say "CONSIDER ME GOD" to any person that is crossing the line. White, black, brown, yellow, green, blue, zebra stripe, whatever that comment is not acceptable!

12. supadave

Posts: 12; Member since: Mar 26, 2010

Really? That is a horrible way of thinking, Oh well Verizon>ATT anyway. Come to Verizon we don't care how you dress or the color of your skin we'll respect and treat you equal regardless.

16. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

I guess when drug dealers with more money than your entire family enters an Apple store to buy 10 of everything, you'd kick them out too right?

38. Aneasybuck unregistered

I agree...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.