CVS Sued Over Racial Epithet On Photo Receipt

N.J. customer's name listed as "Ching Chong Lee"


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Racist CVS Receipt

APRIL 18--In a federal discrimination lawsuit, a New Jersey woman who describes herself as an “adult ethnic Korean” alleges that a CVS employee used a racial epithet to describe her on a receipt issued earlier this year.

Hyun Jin Lee charges that when she picked up photos in February at a CVS pharmacy in Egg Harbor City, she was “shocked, stunned, mortified, humiliated, and severely distressed” to discover that her name had been changed to “Ching Chong Lee” on a receipt attached to an envelope containing her photos.

An image of the receipt is included as an exhibit to the 37-year-old Lee’s lawsuit, which seeks $1 million in damages.

According to Lee’s April 16 U.S. District Court complaint, “Ching chong is a pejorative term sometimes used by speakers of English to mock people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians who may be mistaken for Chinese.”

In a complaint sent to CVS’s customer relations department, Lee wote, “Do you think it’s funny? It’s very disturbing to me!!!!” She added, “why doesn’t he just call me Chink! It has the same derogatory meaning!!!!!”

In an April 4 e-mail that is included in Lee’s lawsuit, a CVS official wrote that they were “very sorry to hear about your experience with the photo staff” at the southern New Jersey store. The CVS employee added that “this incident will be addressed at store level” and that a worker identified as “William” will be “counseled and trained.” (6 pages)