Thanksgiving and Macy's have always gone hand in hand. And this turkey season, one former local Macy's employee has an extra reason to be thankful.
She recently settled a lawsuit against the retail giant claiming members of management at the Baybrook Mall store were running a theft ring and then tried to cover it up and retaliated against her when she tried to blow the whistle.
Nancy Ghisablert of Galveston County sued Macy's in Galveston federal court alleging that on several occasions she saw men loading new merchandise off a Macy's truck and into unmarked vehicles. When she told her supervisors, Ghisalbert's complaints were either ignored or she was told to "mind your own business," according to the lawsuit.
At one point, Ghisalbert claims, managers called the Houston police saying Ghisalbert was involved in theft off of the loading dock and an officer began to arrest her, handcuffing her in public on the floor of the store.
"The handcuffs were not removed from Nancy until [a Macy's employee] had convinced the police that it was 'only a joke,'" it says in the lawsuit. "The officers were not amused ...."
After the near-arrest, Ghisalbert claimed managers tried to quiet her by promising her promotions and by threatening her. After Ghisalbert lodged a discrimination charge,
"Macy's installed additional listening devices around her assigned sales area," the lawsuit states. "Loss-prevention began a systematic campaign of watching everything she did in the store, and warning other Macy's employees that they would be fired if they spoke to Nancy."
Ghisalbert settled the lawsuit earlier this month. Her attorney and husband, David Ghisalbert, says a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement keeps him from disclosing how much money his wife received.
But it sounds like it'll be a good Thanksgiving for the Ghisalbert's this year.
"Nancy was happy with what she got," David Ghisalbert tells Hair Balls. "She's moved on with her life and right now she's getting ready for her third grandchild and is getting ready for the holidays."
Another satisfied customers for Macy's at Thanksgiving. Founder R.H. Macy would be proud.
-- Chris Vogel
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