NEW ORLEANS — Retailer Family Dollar is under fire after a woman claimed a cashier at one of the chain’s stores in New Orleans refused to serve her because she is gay.
According to WWL-TV, Melissa Langford said she was waiting to check out Friday at the Family Dollar on Canal Street when the clerk started making derogatory comments about the gay community.
“The cashier was just loudly stating her opinion on her disdain for gay people,” Langford, who is gay, told WWL. “Eventually, I spoke up because I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Langford reportedly told the cashier that she was gay and found the comments offensive.
That’s when the cashier refused to serve Langford and another customer who defended her, the Times-Picayune reports. Langford then took out her cellphone and started recording as the cashier and customer had a heated exchange. In the video, the clerk says, “I’m not serving them two”; meanwhile, Langford explains, “She won’t serve me because I’m gay and because he doesn’t like anti-gay people.”
Another employee ended up ringing up Langford and the other customer, according to the Times-Picayune.
“I think everybody’s entitled to think what they want, but as a representative of a company, like a national chain, it’s completely inappropriate and a blatant disregard for other people’s feelings,” Langford told WWL.
Family Dollar told the Times-Picayune that it is investigating the incident.
“We take incidents like this very seriously,” the statement said. “We have a Code of Ethics in place that ensures inclusion for customers and associates and helps to ensure good customer care. The code specifically forbids unprofessional conduct and comments on sexual orientation, among other matters. Any activity that goes against this code is simply not how we expect our stores to do business.”