A woman from the Columbus Ohio metro has been granted by Franklin County Courts over $9 million in damages after claiming she faced racial discrimination while working at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Polaris Mall.
According to court documents Elizabeth Cook was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $7 million in punitive damages stemming from a lawsuit she filed against the luxury retailer three months after she was fired claiming racial discrimination. Cook claimed that Saks Fifth Avenue disciplined her in a way that was a “racially discriminatory manner” for work practices, but other co-workers that did the same practices were not disciplined.
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Cook was fired from Saks Fifth Avenue on August 20, 2019, for allegedly violating a work policy called “re-ringing”. Re-Ringing is when an associate returns an item for a customer therein allowing the customer to re-purchase the item when on sale or promotional price. Saks officially changed their company’s re-ringing policy on August 19, 2019, but Cook was fired for re-ringing a transaction in July of 2019 (before the policy officially changed).
Court documents state that Cook claimed she was fired based on her race and alleges the retailer has faced several discrimination lawsuits in the last ten years including racially profiling black customers.
A representative from Saks Fifth Avenue stated to a local NBC affiliate, “Our position remains that there was no discrimination or retaliation involved in this situation. We are disappointed in the jury’s decision and plan to appeal the outcome.”
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