The mother of a former Target Corporation cashier, who worked for a store in Pasadena, is suing the company for wrongful death, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of her son's suicide. Graham Gentles, the former employee, jumped from a hotel roof three days after he was terminated from the retailer.
His mother, Virginia Gentles, is alleging that Target's “Walk of Shame” policy led her son to make such a catastrophic choice. The policy in question is a humiliation ritual that is meant to detour employees from shoplifting.
For Graham, he allegedly was confronted by police officers and Target security when he reported working one day in July. They arrested him, handcuffed him, and led him to a backroom to question him for an altercation that supposedly took place outside of work. The suit claims that Gentles was paraded around the store in handcuffs so all other employees could see, as a testament to the “Walk of Shame” policy.
The younger Gentles was detained at both the store and the police station but was later released with no charges. Graham “experienced severe emotional distress” as heightened by his Asperger's Syndrome.
“The allegations in the lawsuit of a Target policy or practice are simply not true” stated Target spokesperson Evan Lapiska, “Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of his individual…as this is pending litigation, we don't have further comment at this time.”
Virginia Gentles has named the company and the two Target managers involved in the incident in the lawsuit.
Source: Business Insider and The Daily Journal