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2013.04.23_ching_chong.jpg
This photo provided by Susan Lask, attorney for Hyun Lee, shows a claim check Lee says she received from the photo department of a CVS pharmacy in Egg Harbor City, N.J., on Feb. 7, 2013. When Lee picked up her photos she noticed an employee had identified her with the derogatory phrase "Ching Chong Lee" on the ticket. Lask says Lee filed a discrimination lawsuit against CVS in federal court, seeking $1 million, on April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Susan Lask)

Woman sues for $1 million over racial slur on CVS receipt

Hyun Lee said she was "horrified" when a CVS pharmacist in New Jersey changed the name on her receipt to Lee, Ching Chong. Now she wants an apology from the company, and $1 million.

Hyun Lee said she had returned home from picking up her photos at the store and was sifting through them when she noticed the name on the receipt was "Ching Chong Lee" instead of her own.

"I was horrified because it just brought back old memories of growing up as a minority," Lee said.

She said she was subjected to name-calling because she was Asian.

Lee said she believes someone deliberately changed the name on the receipt because the correct name appeared on an email from CVS telling her that the photos were ready for pickup.

Lee said she worries about her kids facing discrimination, and immediately sent an email complaining about the receipt.

She received an email back from CVS saying the worker would be "counseled and trained." The email, included in the suit, also apologized for the worker's behavior. But her lawyer says that it wasn't a "satisfactory response."

Lee filed a lawsuit against the pharmacy chain April 16 seeking $1 million in mental and emotional damages.

David Boze, filling in for Dori, thinks the lawsuit is completely frivolous. Name calling is something he got over in elementary school.

As for the employee, David chalked it up to bad, racist humor.

"Clearly somebody at the checkout counter thought they were being funny," said David. "Maybe they're too stupid or too young to figure out the humor that might work on some sarcastic shows or website is not going to work on you."

Attorney Susan Lask said that she and her client have demanded the worker be fired. But she says that a firing wouldn't have stopped them from filing a lawsuit.

"CVS publicizes that it makes $300 billion a year. So $1 million is somewhat of a dent," said Lask.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said the company has a firm non-discrimination policy.

"CVS pharmacy is committed to treating all of our customers with dignity and respect," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jillian Raftery, KIRO Radio Editor
Jillian Raftery is an afternoon editor at KIRO Radio. She loves the neighborly vibe of the Pacific Northwest and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
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