Mrs Virginia Gentles did an interview 2/26 with Business Week writer Susan Berfield and that article should be published in about two weeks and it will be reproduced here.  

If you have any comments or information for Ms Berfield you can reach her at:  (917.763.2048) sberfield@bloomberg.net
  1. 2/13/15
    Remember Folks: TARGET SUCKS!

    A Business Week/Bloomberg Reporter Asks For Information

    An article is being written by Susan Berfield and it in part goes into the July 2014 incident in which a Target Cashier was subjected to what is being called 'The Walk of Shame'.

    As you know from several threads already existing on this site, the store involved was in Pasadena, Calif and as a result of his humiliation Mr. Graham Gentles killed himself.

    As I understand it the article will deal with how retail employees are treated and will refer to this suicide at Target. Ms. Berfield has written to me as below and I pass along the information FYI and in the hope that some of you may have relevant information, either about Mr. Gentles or about what seems to be a wide reaching corporate policy at Target and even at other retailers.

    My only involvment is that I forwarded information about this Break Room site and several threads about the incident to her last week.

    Note that information provided to reporters/news media is confidential and reporters do not disclose their sources. If you knew Mr. Gentles or have info on this Target policy please contact Ms Berfield.

    "Thanks very much for the note--and the mention on your blog. I see a few people who indicated they wanted to talk, but I haven't heard from them. Could you please ask or remind them to send me an email. I really appreciate the help. 

    (917.763.2048) sberfield@bloomberg.net"



Target is now agreeing to pay $3,352,500 after being sued for charging shoppers too much at local stores.
Target is now agreeing to pay $3,352,500 after being sued for charging shoppers too much at local stores.

Target settled the lawsuit brought on by the DA's offices in Fresno, Marin, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties, along with the San Diego City Attorney's office.

The company is not admitting wrongdoing, but it is agreeing to additional audits and compliance checks by the state to make sure consumers are not overcharged.

"I'm really in a rush all the time," admitted Melissa Contreras. She says she never checks the prices while she's paying.

Prosecutors brought the lawsuit against Target claiming the big box stores charged more than posted prices.

"Usually with target it's pretty straightforward," said Joe Pineda. "I haven't had any of those situations. I was kind of surprised when you were talking about the suit and stuff like that."

The lawsuit came following standard scanner price inspections by the state. Some shoppers say it's really no big deal. "If it's a big ticket item, I make sure that I get the right price," said Brian Marquez. "But if it's a couple bucks here and there i probably won't even notice."

Other shoppers don't trust the scanners and always watch how much they're being charged. "As they're ringing it up I'll always look at the counter computer where it lists the price," Pineda said. "If there's questions, usually I'll ask."

Target has not admitted to overcharging, but the Fresno County DA's office says for the next seven years target will allow its California stores to have additional scanner inspections, and notify the public about its Price Accuracy Program.

Target has not responded to an Action News request for comment.


HQ 'Big Brother' is watching you at any Target store nationwide

The recent problem of employee mistreatment in Pasadena's T-0883 may result in the subpeona of some of the security footage of the incident involving cashier Graham Gentles.

(see:  http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com)

C3, is the Target Corporate Command Center for AP.  

Control room technicians can check 75,000 store security cameras at any given time from their PCs from the third floor of Target Corp.'s downtown Minneapolis headquarters and keep tabs on anything that could disrupt operations at Target's 1,743 stores or worldwide offices.  Each store has between 70-90 cameras, but not each visible dome has an active camera and not all cameras are in domes.

While the Target publicity department is undoubtedly pleased with the occasional reports of their worldwide intelligence services, the 'back story' on this should be that Target AP is looking in at their employees from HQ and they are not looking in to send them warm fuzzy greetings from Minneapolis.

Target AP at HQ are not looking for shoplifters, that is for the local AP to do, they are looking for any employees who are spending time goofing off, talking to other employees, violating company policies or just ducking and diving to get out of work.  Investigators monitor cashiers looking for fraud of any type.  All footage is saved on computers for later access.

Big Brother at HQ are looking in anytime there are employees in the store, the cameras are always 'live', not just during 'business hours'.  They monitor everywhere in the store except the bathrooms and changing rooms.  If inventory counts are off AP can go back to see what has happened to the merchandise whether it is customer theft on the sales floor or problem in the stock rooms.

Just because you don't see one of the 'domes' does not mean you are not on camera, and even if they are not monitored in real time those domes are useful for shoplifting prevention as customers have to assume they are being monitored.

Additional info about C3 can be found at:


Target lays off hundreds at home in retreat from Canada

Feb 11, 2015, 7:21am HST  Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Target Corp., which is opening two new stores in Hawaii next month, is cutting 550 jobs at its Minnesota headquarters and another 170 in India as it winds down operations related to its ill-fated expansion to Canada, the company said Wednesday.

The Minnesota positions are all headquarters jobs, with 350 being eliminated Wednesday, according to a statement by the Minneapolis-based retailer. The remaining workers will be cut after the Canadian stores are liquidated.

"This is a difficult day for the Target team but we continue to believe that the steps we are taking are the right ones for the company," Target spokeswoman Katie Boylan said in a statement.


Hamilton Nolan, a Senior Writer for the Internet 
Publication GAWKER has had 2 interesting Target articles.  

Here are some teasers of what was said on those posts, take a look at the full articles if you have time.  

The articles and many comments may be of more interest to those working at HQ or in Minneapolis.

Here is the info from the Gawker site:

Target Headquarters "In Desperate Need of Help," Says Employee

We received the following email from a current mid-level employee at Target's headquarters in Minnesota. This represents just one person's experience inside the center of the Target bulls-eye. But it does contain some fascinating insights into their workplace culture. We've bolded a few parts that stood out to us. 

"When I started, they were so excited about getting "Buy online, pick up in store" as if that was some new invention. How many other stores have that and do it better than Target? Regular customers don't even know about it, because people hate Target's website. They've tried starting a Netflix like service, or a subscription service, but no one knows about them and they are just copycats of what other businesses are doing. 

Target has no original ideas, they are just reacting to what other companies are doing and jumping the bandwagon. 

They have a culture that makes decision via consensus, so it takes FOREVER to make a decision and implement even the smallest change. That keeps them from being able to make the necessary changes, and they won't ever get there without a big change in leadership and a true vision beyond "keep the doors open". . . If Target doesn't make a serious change in their leadership and culture, it will end up being a Kmart, a Sears, or even worse a Circuit City. The Twin Cities would be devastated - around 15,000 people work for Target HQ at one of their numerous sites in the Twin Cities."

Entire post is at: http://gawker.com/target-headquarters-in-desperate-need-of-help-says-e-1573101642

This article/post was later followed by:

Target's Biggest Challenge: Employees Complaining to Gawker

Last week, we brought you the words of an employee at Target's headquarters lamenting the way that the company is run. Now, one of Target's top executives has seen fit to respond to these criticisms. Which is a perfect opportunity for us to expand upon them.

 Yesterday, Jeff Jones, Target's Chief Marketing Officer, sent an impassioned message titled "The Truth Hurts" to all of Target's employees, and then published the message in full on LinkedIn. In it, he cites Target's recent data breach and the departure of its CEO as reasons for a "difficult" past five months. But those things are minor compared to a single post on Gawker.com:

"You'd think that these two incidents alone would create enough pain to last a brand a lifetime but one of the most challenging things that has happened, in my opinion, have been reports, some attributed to unnamed team members, that paint a picture of a culture that is in crisis. When a recent post on a well-known blog called me out by name, it only felt right that I should respond.

In reading this account of life at Target, I've gone through a range of emotions – first anger, then wondering why any team member would say what they said. And while it was difficult for me to read this account for many reasons, the reality is that our team members speaking with honesty is a gift.

Because much of what they are saying is true. While we would have preferred to have a conversation like this with the team member directly, speaking openly and honestly, and challenging norms is exactly what we need to be doing today and every day going forward."

We certainly applaud the commitment of EVP Jeff Jones and the rest of the Target management team to transparency. And we are here to help them on their quest for truth. 

As to Jeff Jones' dismay that a Target employee would not share their concerns internally: perhaps their reluctance is due to the fact that complaining internally is traditionally seen as a good reason to fire employees, as Target store managers have told us. As to Jeff Jones' befuddlement as to why a Target employee would complain about Target in the first place: perhaps it is due to the fact that Target is a stringently anti-labor corporation which pumps out a steady stream of insulting propaganda to convince its low-paid workers not to organize to better their own conditions.

But that is just a guess on our part.

Of course, we want to offer Jeff Jones something more than our pet theories about what is wrong with Target. Something more concrete. Something like... this email from a veteran current Target employee, about management problems at the store level. We received it last week. Please consider this our gift to the Target Crusade for Truth

"The issues I have witnessed, and been a part of at a store level are nearly reprehensible. First and foremost, management at a store level is a complete joke. The pyramid of management goes Store Team Leader (STL-1), Executive Team Leaders (ETL's- 3-7), Senior Team Leaders (3-8), and Team Leads (6-14). In order to move anywhere past an ETL position, which is basically an assistant store manager, you have to have a four year degree, regardless of how good you are, or the leadership qualities you display on a daily basis. I have witnessed fantastic Senior Team Leaders stall in their position for years, in one case ten years, because he didn't have a four year degree and I would have followed that guy anywhere. He can't advance, has topped out on pay raises, and can't afford to leave because he supports his wife and three children.

ETL's are basically brand new college graduates. I've never seen an ETL [over] the age of 28. They are fresh from college and they don't know anything about the company, the culture, or how to properly run a store, area, or even use the computer systems. They have to be taught by regular team members. STL's and ETL's are only allowed to stay at one store for 18 months before they are shipped to another store and this can have drastic effects on team members and management as a whole. Team members have to rework everything for a new boss every 18 months because they change processes, sometimes going against the SOP and it is extremely frustrating...

Also retaliation is considered the norm among management when it comes to team member complaints. I have only ever seen one team member take the proper steps to make a complaint about sexual harassment by a female ETL not get fired or quit within 6 months. He complained to the store leader, nothing happened and the behavior continued to get worse. He called Target's hotline and two days later he was in the office being told if he needed up finding new employment they would be happy to help. His hours were cut and he suddenly started getting written up for things no one ever get written up for. 8 months [passed], he refused to quit, new management came in and it stopped, but his file has so many red flags he is considered a problem team member and has been told he will not be promoted based on his file due to these incidents.

The original email about Target HQ is spot on. Recently raises were given out, and no one got above three percent. I was told all evaluations were sent back to stores with a requirement that all evaluations needed to be down graded one grade regardless of performance because Target couldn't pay for the pay increases. It is impossible to get the max pay raise and I've never heard of anyone getting it, regardless of performance."

Entire post is found at: 



Virginia Gentles v. Target Corporation

This suit was filed 1/22/15 in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles (Case #BC570020) and is comprised of 4 Counts:

1)  False Imprisonment

2)  Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

3)  Negligence

4   Wrongful Death

Here are some extracts from the Virginia Gentles v. Target Corporation suit which is carried in full at http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com/, some of this is already familiar to you but other info may not be:

*  Mr. Graham Gentles worked at Defendant's Pasadena store.  Mr. Gentles' job title was Cashier.

*  On July 15, 2014, at about 1:50 pm, Mr. Gentles arrived at the Pasadena Target store prior to the beginning of his shift which began 2:00 pm.  Mr. Gentles typically arrived about 10 minutes early for work.

*  When Mr. Gentles arrived at the front entrance on this date, he was met by police and Target store security personnel which included Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez.

*  At the direction of Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez, the police grabbed Mr. Gentles at the front entrance, emptied his pockets, pulled his hat off his head, handcuffed him and then led him along with Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez and Target security personnel from the front entrance in front of the registers, past guest services (where there are a lot of employees and customers) and then through the double doors to the AP2 office of Target's Pasadena store.

*  At the direction of Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez, Mr. Gentles was then forcibly detained by Target security personnel and the police in Target's AP2 office where he was questioned.  Some time later, Mr. Gentles was taken to a police car and then taken to the police department.

*  Plaintiff is informed and believe that Mr. Gentles was never charged with any crime and was released the same day by the police.

*  Plaintiff is informed and believes that Defendants Mims and Godinez were acting pursuant to Target policy in instigating Mr. Gentles' arrest and subjecting him to the Walk of Shame.

*  Plaintiff's imprisonment at the direction of Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez and was part of a Target's policy known as "Walk of Shame".  The Walk of Shame is a Target policy to purposefully cause shame, embarrassment and emotional distress to any Target employee who is suspected of stealing from Target Corporation.  The policy consists of suspected employees being arrested and paraded in hand-cuffs through the Target store in full view of co-workers and store customers.

*  Plaintiff is informed and believes that the Walk of Shame has happened on numerous occasions to Target employees suspected of stealing from Target.

*  Plaintiff is informed and believes that Target initiated an investigation of Mr. Gentles several months before his arrest related to a verbal altercation that Mr. Gentles had with another Target co-worker at a bar outside of work hours.

*  Plaintiff is informed and believes that allegations made by this other co-worker led Defendants Anthony Mims and Charles Godinez and Target security personnel to instigate the arrest and detention of Mr. Gentles and to subject him to the Walk of Shame.

*  Mr. Gentles committed suicide on July 18, 2014, three days after his arrest was instigated by Defendants Mims and Godinez and Mr. Gentles being subjected to the "Walk of Shame" at the Pasadena store.

*  Defendants' conduct was a substantial factor in causing harm to Mr. Gentles.

*  Defendants did not have any reasonable basis to believe that Mr. Gentles had committed a crime at any Target store at the time that its security personnel instigated the arrest of Mr. Gentles.

*  Defendants and Does 1 through 100 inclusive, and each of them, had the duty to exercise ordinary care towards the decedent Graham Gentles and should have known that subjecting Mr. Gentles to false imprisonment would foreseeably cause Plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress and that it is foreseeable that some individuals who experience severe emotional distress will attempt suicide.


Obituary for Graham Gentles

August 30, 1991 - July 18, 2014
Monrovia, California | Age 22
Loving Son
Graham Gentles Obituary Photo


Graham Gentles mother set up a 'memorial page' for him at:


This is only the latest example of how bad a chain that Target is and this case will be followed on this and other of my blog sites, check back for additional details as available.

The case of Virginia Gentles v. Target Corp (BC 570020) was filed 1/22/15 regarding a July 2014 incident where actions by Target employees at their Pasadena store (Target Store T-0883, 777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101-2104) subsequently resulted in the suicide of a discharged Target cashier.

While the litigation starts in the 'Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles' it will be moved to the 9th Circuit of the U.S. District Court due to diversity of citizenship as Target HQ is in Minnesota.  The 9th Circuit consists of 7 Western States and so far this year 9 suits involving Target have been filed, last year there were 105.      

In addition to Target Corp, the individual defendants are Anthony Mims, the Pasadena store team leader, and Charles Godinez, the store's executive team leader for asset protection.

When I pull the filing from the Federal court site I will add it to my blog at http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com/.  As I have done with other suits, I will add a separate blog to contain the filing as it will be far to large to add to this site.

The current claim is for unspecified monetary damages and alleged in part:

Count 1 - False Imprisonment
Count 2 - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Count 3 - Negligence

Target is frequently sued and they do not settle cases, they let them all go to trial.  Some they win some they lose.  When they lose they appeal.  These cases drag on for years and this will be no exception.


UPDATE 1/30/15:

This free weekly handout publication in LA County has some otherwise unreported information on why Mr. Gentles may have been removed from Target.  Whether it is correct or not is not known.

To see the article go to:  http://gentlesvtarget.blogspot.com/

The incident continues to be reported, usually the original story is simply quoted but ABC Eyewitness News 7 in LA has a bit more info than most and they say in part:

"He said, 'Mom, I've never stolen,'" Virginia Gentles recalled. "He said, 'They did the walk of shame, I had to do the walk of shame. But they only do that when people steal and I've never stolen a thing.'"

The complaint alleges that an argument between Graham Gentles and a coworker at a bar outside of work hours may have prompted the incident. The suit says it's believed that allegations made by the coworker led to store management calling for Gentles' arrest and "walk of shame."

According to the complaint, the so-called "walk of shame" has happened on numerous occasions to employees who were suspected of stealing.

"One of the primary purposes of this lawsuit is that Target stops the policy immediately [and] recognizes the harm that it could do," said McNicholas. 

See their full report at:


Gentles, who had just enlisted, with his mother Virginia (right) via Facebook.


Graham Gentles
Graham Gentles via Facebook.
Pasadena Target.
Courtyard Marriott
Gentles jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia (above).

"My Only Child": Mom Sues Target Over Son's Suicide

A Southern California woman's son jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott three days after he was fired, she says

By Kim Baldonado

Target is facing a lawsuit filed by a mother who says her son committed suicide after he was forced to take part in a humiliating disciplinary event in front of co-workers and customers.

(Published Friday, Jan 23, 2015)  Updated at 9:46 AM PST on Saturday, Jan 24, 2015

The suit claims 22-year-old Graham A. Gentles, a former cashier at the retail chain's Pasadena store, was humiliated when he was subjected to what the family's attorney called a "walk of shame," a ritual during which the employee is paraded around the store in handcuffs.

"I don't want any other mother to have to go through what I've gone through," said Graham's mother Virginia Gentles, who filed the lawsuit. "This is my only child."

Virginia Gentles filed the suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Her son jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia on July 18, three days after he was fired and required by the Target store and allegedly forced to the "walk of shame."

"The only thing he said to me at that moment was, 'Mom this is the worst day of my life,'" Virginia Gentles said.

Target released a statement Friday expressing sympathy for the family.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of this individual,'' Target spokesman Evan Lapiska said. "As this is pending litigation, we don't have further comment at this time.''

According to the complaint, police and store security met Graham Gentles immediately as he arrived for work. At the direction of two members of the store management, he was handcuffed and led before other store employees to an office, the suit states.

"Mr. Gentles was shocked, confused and mortified at being handcuffed and walked through the Target store in front of co-workers and customers,'' the suit states. "Mr. Gentles had no idea why he was being arrested.''

He was questioned in the office, then later taken to the police station, the suit states.

"While he was cuffed he was paraded through the store into a room and was interrogated there," attorney Patrick McNicholas said. "He was then paraded back out to the store, put into a patrol car and taken to Pasadena police station."

However, he was later released and never charged with any crime, according to the complaint.

The suit alleges the actions by the two Target managers were part of a company practice that other employees had also experienced.

"The walk of shame is a Target policy to purposely cause shame, embarrassment and emotional distress to any Target employee who is suspected of stealing from Target,'' the suit states. "The policy consists of employees being arrested and paraded in handcuffs through the Target store in full view of co-workers and customers.''

Target told NBC4 on Friday it did not have a "walk of shame" policy but could not comment any further.

However, the suit alleges that Graham Gentles' involvement in a "verbal altercation'' with another Target worker at a bar outside of work hours several months before the handcuffing incident may have prompted management to subject him to the "walk of shame,'' the suit states.

Her attorney claims the experience was intensified by the fact Graham had Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism.

"The nature of Aspergers he tended to hyper focus and so he was very hyper focused on this," McNicholas said. "He was hyper focused on his loss and it was a perfect storm which resulted in his death."

Graham Gentles was a loyal employee who always arrived early to his job, the suit states.

The suit alleges that Graham Gentles' suicide was directly related to his treatment by Target management.

See the original report at:  

Lawyers for the plaintiff Virginia Gentles are:
Philip Shakhnis - Calif. Bar #199461, e-mail: ps@mcnicholaslaw.com and John Patrick McNicholas IV - Calif. Bar #125868

McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP,  10866 Wilshire Blvd Ste #1400, Los Angeles, CA 90024  Phone Number: (310) 474-1582, Fax Number: (310) 475-7871  Website:  www.mcnicholaslaw.com


Case Number:  BC570020
Filing Date:  01/22/2015
Case Type:  Other PI/PD/WD (General Jurisdiction)
Status:  Pending

GENTLES VIRGINIA - Plaintiff/Petitioner
MCNICHOLAS & MCNICHOLAS LLP - Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner
DOES 1 THROUGH 100 - Defendant/Respondent
MIMS ANTHONY - Defendant/Respondent
GODINEZ CHARLES - Defendant/Respondent
TARGET CORPORATION - Defendant/Respondent

Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)
01/22/2015 Complaint

Proceedings Held (Proceeding dates listed in descending order)


Lawsuit claims Pasadena Target employee committed suicide after being shamed
The mother of a former cashier at Target in Pasadena is suing the retailer, alleging that her son committed suicide after being humiliated by management.

In the lawsuit, Virginia Gentles claims her son, 22-year-old Graham Gentles, was driven to suicide after he was accused of committing a felony, handcuffed and "paraded" through the store in front of coworkers and customers.

Graham Gentles jumped to his death from the roof of the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia on July 18, three days after he was allegedly required by Target management to take part in what the lawsuit calls a "walk of shame."

The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the complaint, Gentles was met by police and Target security personnel at the front of the store as he arrived for work on July 15. 

The suit alleges that police forcefully grabbed him, emptied his pockets and pulled his hat off. At the direction of two members of the store management, he was handcuffed and led to an office, according to the suit.

"Gentles was shocked, confused and mortified at being hand-cuffed and walked through the Target store in front of co-workers and store customers. Mr. Gentles had no idea why he was being arrested," the complaint says.

Gentles was taken to the police station, but he was released the same day and never charged.

The suit says Gentles, who had Asperger's Syndrome, "experienced severe emotional distress" following the arrest.

The complaint alleges that an argument between Gentles and a coworker at a bar outside of work hours may have prompted the incident. The suit says it's believed that allegations made by the coworker led to store management calling for Gentles' arrest and "walk of shame."

According to the complaint, the so-called "walk of shame" has happened on numerous occasions to employees who were suspected of stealing.

Target released a statement on Friday, saying, "Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the friends and family of this individual. As this is pending litigation, we don't have further comment at this time." 

City News Service contributed to this report.

Source:   abc7


Man jumps to his death off Monrovia Courtyard Marriott roof privateofficer.com

Monrovia CA  July 22 2014 A 22-year-old man jumped off a hotel roof in Monrovia in an apparent suicide, a police lieutenant told Patch.
Graham A. Gentles was pronounced dead at the scene following his jump, reported shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, July 18, according to Monrovia police Lt. Zeke Cerecerez.
Officers were called to the Courtyard Marriott Monrovia in the 700 block of West Huntington Drive to investigate the report of a “man down,” possibly from a skateboard accident, the lieutenant said but upon arrival, police determined that Gentles had jumped.
It was unclear how the rooftop door was left unlocked, as there were no signs that the man had forced the lock onto the roof from the top floor of the nine-story hotel.


As usual I like to mass mail the Tarbutt stores in the area of their latest screw ups to let them know that they made the top of my blog site:

* Who Looks At This Blog?