When construction started on Bayshore Boulevard Lowe’s hardware store back in 2009, some San Franciscans voiced concerned about the impact the big box store might have on local business. What they didn’t anticipate: allegations of racial discrimination and an (again, alleged) breach in the agreement the big box store had with San Francisco.

According to the Chron, six current and former Lowe’s employees files a suit in San Francisco Superior Court Friday claiming just that. According to the suit,”management has discriminated against blacks and other minorities, passing them over for promotions and often firing them and replacing them with non-minorities,” the Chron reports.

The former employees also allege minority employees were hired “to comply with an agreement with the City and County of San Francisco as a prerequisite to the opening of the Bayshore Lowe’s.” The suit then claims the employees were fired once the store opened.

The store, which opened in November 2010, generated 312 jobs, and nearly half were filled by San Francisco residents, according to figures provided at the time by the office of then-mayor Gavin Newsom.

“This location, this boulevard, needed the economic stimulation,” Newsom said at the store’s opening celebration.

An attempt to reach Lowe’s for comment on the suit was unsuccessful at publication time.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!