CVS sued after woman says racist slur — Ching Chong — written on receipt

Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-18 21:19:12-04

A New Jersey woman is suing CVS after an employee at the drug-store chain called her “Ching Chong” Lee on her receipt, Hyun Lee’s attorney alleged in announcing a $1 million-dollar federal discrimination lawsuit against the company.

cvsLee, 37,  says she discovered the anti-Asian slur when she went on Feb. 7 to the Egg Harbor City CVS in southern New Jersey to pick up photos the store had developed for her.

“Ching chong is a pejorative term sometimes employed by speakers of English to mock people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians who may be mistaken for Chinese,” said Lee’s attorney,  Susan Chana Lask, in a statement.

Lee, who is of Korean descent, told CVS customer relations in an email:  “Does the name in any way match my name? I had ordered online with MY name!!! And why in the world would the clerk change my name? Do you think it’s funny? It’s very disturbing to me!!!”

Hyun Lee

Hyun Lee

She said CVS did not apologize, only saying that the clerk, named William, would be “counseled and trained.”

CVS responded to the suit, which was filed on Wednesday.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect,” said Michael DeAngelis, spokesperson for CVS, in a statement to  ”We have a firm non-discrimination policy. While the allegations in the complaint are not in keeping with our values or our policies, we cannot comment on a matter involving pending litigation.”

According to Lask’s statement, “They added insult to injury that William “will be counseled and trained” when he should be fired.  Store counseling cannot correct intolerable discrimination. Nationwide people are terminated immediately when this occurs.”

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Camden, seeking $1 million in punitive damages. The suit states Lee is suffering from mental anguish, emotional distress and other problems because of the receipt.