(NEW YORK) — A manager at a Virginia Lowe’s replaced an African-American delivery truck driver with a white employee after a customer requested that only white people deliver packages to her home, which the home improvement and appliance retailer says should have never happened.
After getting a call last week on the truck from a manager telling him to bring the package back so someone else could deliver it, Marcus Bradley said, “I asked him why I couldn’t do it and he said, ‘Because you’re black,’” according to ABC affiliate WSET-TV in Lynchburg-Roanoke.
Bradley, delivering for a Danville store, says the manager told him the customer asked Lowe’s not to send a black delivery person, the station reported.
ABC News has been unable to reach Bradley, and the woman who requested a white delivery driver declined to comment to ABC News.
But Alex Brooks, who said he has worked with Bradley for 11 years, told ABC News Tuesday he was in the truck when the Aug. 3 call came in from the manager.
“I was embarrassed because I got the phone call,” Brooks said. “I think that’s kind of how he [Bradley] felt, too. Marcus was more shocked at Lowe’s doing this. He couldn’t believe that the place he worked at would go along with this woman’s wishes.”
Brooks, who is white, added, “The weekend before this delivery, everybody told us that this woman in the store wouldn’t deal with any of the black customer service representatives or salesmen. She said she didn’t want any black delivery drivers, so they knew beforehand.”
When they returned to the store, Brooks says he was asked to go back out on the delivery with another white driver, but refused.
“I told him I wasn’t going to do it without him [Bradley],” Brooks said. “I just don’t think it’s right.”
In a statement to ABC News, Lowe’s said, “There had been a customer who had requested only white delivery drivers to deliver an item to her home. After we learned of a situation that a manager had pulled the driver from the delivery, we did a quick investigation. The three managers who had been part of that decision are no longer part of the company. We have zero tolerance for behavior of that kind.
“We have apologized and our senior vice president actually went to the [Danville, Virginia] store last week and spoke to the delivery drivers personally and apologized on behalf of the company. We wanted to make sure they knew they had our full support.”
Although saddened and hurt by the incident, Bradley told WSET he plans to continue working for Lowe’s.
“I mean, I gotta work. I’m going to keep going to work like I’ve always done,” he said. “But I would think Lowe’s would take it into consideration to think about what they’re doing the next time.”
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