Sears employee fired after racial clash with customer
Employee' suggestion customer 'just came off the boat' sparks outrage
An employee at a Sears store in Winnipeg has been fired after video of a racially charged exchange with a customer was posted online.
The employee can then be heard asking the man, "Let me guess, you just came off the boat?"
The customer, obviously upset with the derogatory remark about being an immigrant, immediately demanded a store manager fire the employee.
The customer's anger then boiled over, leading him to yell several profanities at the employee.
Sears spokesman Vincent Power initially confirmed the employee was suspended. But late Monday, he said the majority of the company's investigation was complete and the employee has been "terminated."
Power apologized on behalf of Sears to those involved in the incident, including the passersby who witnessed the exchange, and said the company plans to discuss proper conduct with staff.
"This is not the kind of behaviour that is demonstrated by Sears people across Canada," he said.
Paul Therrien, a human resources expert with the Legacy Bowes Group in Winnipeg, said the customer's reaction as shown in the video was excessive, but it's up to store employees to stay professional.
"In the service industry, you have to know how to handle irate customers, how to de-escalate the situation," he said.
WARNING: Video contains graphic language