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The State

The Marshall’s department store chain has agreed to pay a $17,500 fine to settle a lawsuit filed by a customer over a racial incident at one of its stores and has agreed to conduct an anti-racism training program for its employees. The fine stemmed from a suit brought by Cynthia Sterling, 25, who is black. She had tried to exchange an $80 comforter at the Marshall’s store in Newark, near Oakland. She was shown a memo written by a store supervisor instructing clerks not to allow blacks to return bed linens “for any reason.” The supervisor was later fired and the store issued an apology. Sterling and the store also agreed to an undisclosed monetary settlement. The fine was a penalty assessed by the judge who approved the settlement of the civil lawsuit. In another agreement between Marshall’s and the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the store agreed to develop anti-racism guidelines for employees and distribute them throughout the chain.


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