Customer Demands White Delivery Man; Supervisor Says OK

A Lowe’s store manager in Danville, Virginia, has been fired after pulling a delivery driver out of a job because he is Black. And now, at least two others have either been fired or resigned, according to The Associated Press.

Marcus Bradley, who has been an employee at a Danville, Virginia, Lowe’s store for the past 11 years, was on a delivery earlier this month when he received a phone call from the manager requesting that he return to the store.

“I asked [the manager] why I couldn’t do it and he said because you’re black and they don’t want you at the house,” Bradley recalled.

The customer receiving the delivery had specifically requested her delivery driver not be Black. When asked how she felt regarding the situation, she said, “No, I don’t feel bad about nothing.”

“I got a right to have whatever I want and that’s it,” she added.

Alex Brooks, who is white and has been Bradley’s delivery partner for nearly 11 years, was shocked by the request. He refused to complete the delivery without Bradley.

“It was one of those things like, ‘These guys will get over it. They’re tough guys, they’re delivery guys’ and that’s kind of where I just had to put my foot down and say I couldn’t do it with them,” he said.

However, Brooks felt Lowe’s did not initially handle the situation appropriately by any means.

“To me, it just ain’t right for a business that we work at to go on with the woman’s wishes,” he said of the manager’s decision to replace Bradley on the job in question.

Sure enough, all of the managers involved were in direct violation of both Virginia state law and the Lowe’s Code of Ethics.

The Virginia Human Rights Act “Safeguard[s] all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination because of race [or] color in places of public accommodation, including employment.”

And, according to the Lowe’s Code of Ethics, “Lowe’s values its reputation for complying with applicable governmental laws, rules and regulations in the conduct of its business. Therefore, every Employee, while acting on behalf of the company, shall comply with all applicable domestic or foreign governmental laws, rules and regulations, and should avoid engaging in any conduct that, even though legally permissible, is inconsistent with the ethical principles to which Lowe’s subscribes.”

So even if discrimination is “legally permissible” in the state in which the Lowe’s store operates (which is not the case in Virginia), this states that employees are expected to follow the Lowe’s policy, as discrimination is “inconsistent with the ethical principles to which Lowe’s subscribes.”

Lowe’s “ethical principles” are stated in another section of the code: “Lowe’s adheres to the employment policies and practices of non-discrimination as it relates to sex, race, color, religion, natural origin, age, handicap or sexual orientation. All Employees are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to maintain a working environment free of discrimination of any kind.”

In a statement to WSET, Lowe’s said, “Diversity and inclusion is a core value at Lowe’s. The situation brought to our attention was troubling and an investigation was immediately undertaken. Under no circumstances should a discriminatory delivery request be honoredas it is inconsistent with our diversity and inclusion core valuesand the request should have been refused. The investigation has concluded and the individuals involved are no longer with [the] company.”

While Bradley expressed disappointment in the way the managers on duty handled the situation, he has no intention of leaving his position.

“I mean I gotta work,” he explained. “I’m going to keep going to work like I’ve always done. But I would think Lowe’s would take it into consideration to think about what they’re doing next time.”

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