Belk / Michelle Barton / leadership and favoritism
Please read and consider before you enter or spend any amount of money at another Belk's department store. (Especially in Myrtle Beach, SC).
I worked in Loss Prevention for this Company. I worked with a group of very solid and capable personnel from those in the Loss Prevention office to those who worked on the sales floor. Loss Prevention known as Security to some, is something I have done most of my life. It is a field I never saw myself walking away from. But that is what happen after working for Belk's Loss Prevention Department.
Here is what I can share with you. The EEOC office (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has been investigating or completed investigations into the severe Discrimination claims brought against Belk. When your "leadership team" is hiring people in their 20's and 30's in off the street at a range of.75 cents up to 2.00 more than some are currently making after 5 years, 7 years, or 10 plus years of dedicated service because they are younger, I believe this to be wrong. When people of color are (in my opinion) targeted for the color of their skin and NO other reason, forcing them to leave the store and transfer to a different store, after a year of no complaints, no coaching's, and no write-ups in their file, I believe this to also be wrong.
They have one person who is based out of Greenville, SC Named Michelle Barton who in my personal opinion and with my right to freedom of speech has infected the division and area she covers as regional manager with hate and bias. Her quick desire to dismiss complaints or concerns of some under her but so willing to take on others show her bias. Belk's up until November of 2017 allowed their Loss Prevention personnel to use Necessary force, but now the rules have changed and people under her are getting suspended in 2018 for actions they did in 2016 when 1) she wasn't even over this area, and 2) the person (Paul) who knew about the action and either cleared Loss Prevention any wrong doing or failed to send it up the ladder by way of chain of command. So how is someone who did their job, followed the steps they were given punished by way of suspension, being left without an income to support themselves, or feed their kids, or have medical insurance? How is it that within 3 months of getting this area Michelle Barton (Allegedly) tells Loss Prevention Associate Tim (formerly of Belk's 516) "she is going to clean out the Loss Prevention office at store 244, and that office had 4 Loss Prevention personnel, a Manager who had been with the company more than 14 years, his second in command more that 12 years, the other full timer who was in their second stint with Belk with a combined time of over 10+ years, and the part timer who had been there only 10 months but had years of experience, and had a working relationship with others in the office from a past Loss Prevention job, 3 months and two are gone and the others are out for some BS reason with question marks over their heads for the past 5 months. Mean while there are other stunts they have pulled, but those will be brought to light by an lawyer who is currently suing the Company, on behalf of his client. Loss Prevention Personnel Tim who now works for Belk's in Columbia, was allowed to transfer after not only being involved in a work related issue that required the protection of Michelle Barton and possibly (Jo Bickford) Michelle Boss, little did they know their protection and transfer of this person only gave him the chance to go to anther Belk's department store and pursue other female employees as companions even though he was married at the time while working the combination of Belk's 516 and 244 he exchanged phone numbers with other Female sales associates which is a big NO-NO under Belk policy with Loss Prevention, or was he protected and sent to a store closer to Michelle Barton because she discover he found her to be attractive as they come? Cover-up? So let me make sure this is clear, one maybe even two people from Belk's 244 was suspended due to what is believed to be an investigation into the unnecessary force they have used in the past, while the person being hired, protected and even being sent to another store by way of transfer has a pending lawsuit with the city of Conway, South Carolina for his involvement in a domestic violence matter. While these charges were later dropped, this overall matter shows the possible inability for this person to remain calm in high stress matters, such as struggling with a shoplifter. Remember Belk's Loss Prevention Department can still use force but they have a very limited time frame (30 seconds) to do so if your loved one made that mistake, do you think it is wise to have someone on staff who was once involved in such a matter?
What about the ALLEGED comment the Crusader of Loss Prevention Michelle Barton made that she once kicked a non compliant shoplifter in face?
How does Belk's handle such an investigation? Well it starts by first allowing those higher positions who have been named in multiple complaints and wrong doings to run the investigation into themselves (I am sorry to report they found no wrong doing into themselves). They did however proceed to remove from the office the computer base, which contained videos, pictures, and other files that could show a pattern of cover ups by the higher up's. They also removed video that was saved to a disc, as well as several case files for future research, 5 months later they remain in research mode.
The best part of All is when they entered the store to set up hidden camera(s) and delete the video (or so they thought) of what they had been up to in the Loss Prevention office. This shows their ability to make video disappear (so if you ever fall in a Belk store, or something happens that looks bad to the company be very, very aware that they can remove and delete video they find damaging to the Company. And have done so.
Also should you by chance ever visit Myrtle Beach SC, and you go to the Belk's at Coastal Grand Mall, should you hear the fire alarm sound please SAVE YOURSELF A slow burning death and exit one of the doors, do not exit via the back hallway as that exit door is often blocked by pallets and merchandise, just another way Belk's shows a disregard towards their guest and employees, and deceives the fire Marshall
So, while it's possible these things happen everyday in other places, you have been told by someone who saw it happen while working at Belk's department store and someone who went through it while working at Belk's department store.
Ask yourself before entering, do I really want to shop at a place that" would gladly take my money for shopping there, but would not hire me at a fare wage like they have done for those at a younger age. Under 45 or so
Do I wish to spend money with a company where facts have been given that supports that there are people in leadership who see value white employees rather that ethics and Morals. This fact is given with my personal knowledge that this happened.
Should I spend money at Company who protects the higher ups, even when no wrong doing has been done by those under them. A company who would be enriched by your money, could possibly one day employ your elderly MOM or Dad or Wife, Son, or Daughter who if is a minority could suffer harsher consequence and/or disciplinary action base on the color of their skin?
Would it be wise to keep in business one that supports the actions like those mention above. You have the right to shop where you want, just my personal warning to what you are supporting when you shop at Belk's Department Stores.
If you want more on this matter feel free to contact the people below
Ex Regional Manger Paul Ferreri at [protected]
Current Divisional Manager Jo Bickford [protected]
Current Regional Manager Michelle Barton [protected]
Current HR Randy Knight [protected] ext 80205
but be advise he is out of the office traveling store until 08/13/02018
Store Manger Tiffany Leman [protected] ext 201