July 25, 2011
By Gia Vang
EUGENE, Ore. — Two Junction City sisters are asking an Eugene Walmart for an apology.
The women say they were thrown out because of what one sister was wearing.
It all happened at the Super Walmart on West 11th Sunday.
Sandy McMillin and her sister thought it was going to be a typical stop, but it wasn’t because they were kicked out.
“I was horrified in that they’re throwing me out of the store, for wearing this. I was like, ‘Hello!'” said McMillin.
The 51-year-old says she was wearing a bikini top and swim shorts Sunday while at Walmart, because she and her sister had been working outside in the sun all day.
But while browsing through the clothing section, they were interrupted by two employees.
“I said, ‘Yes?’ And she looks at my sister and says, ‘Ma’am you’re going to have to put a shirt on.’ And I said, ‘Huh?'” said Karla Vogt, the woman’s sister.
Neither of the sisters saw a dress code policy.
KEZI checked that location’s main entrances and didn’t see any either, but employees said it is enforced.
They say it’s a health issue, under the food handler’s policy, because they carry and sell food items.
KEZI checked online and while there is information about physical contamination, there’s nothing about restrictions on bikini tops.
When asked why she thinks she was targeted, Sandy said “because I’m tattooed and the stigma that goes along with tattoos.”
She admits she’s not in the best shape, and the sisters think that also played a role in how they were treated.
“If you don’t like the way a person looks, don’t look at them. That’s always been my philsophy,” Karla said.
The woman said employees also told them the policy is usually only enforced when they receive a complaint.
So we put the policy to the test.
We had a woman dress in shorts and a bikini and go into the store with a KEZI employee.
They spent close to 15 minutes in the store and even spoke directly to several Walmart employees, and not once were asked to leave.
KEZI did contact Walmart’s headquarters Monday to ask them about the incident, but that call was not returned.