(Photo: Courtesy of ACLU of Colorado)
The Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is pushing the national retail chain Hot Mama to change it’s anti-shoplifting policies, saying they could be used to racially discriminate.

The ACLU-Colorado says it found out about the clothing store’s policy (PDF) from a former manager of a Hot Mama’s outlet in the state. 

The policy tells workers to look out for customers who don’t look like the "typical" Hot Mama’s shopper and to follow them.

If the customer asks, are you following me because of my race, the employee is told not to worry about making people feel uncomfortable.

Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU Colorado has sent notice to Hot Mama (PDF) headquarters in Minnesota.

“We’re asking Hot Mama to initiate company-wide training that race is not a permissible factor to rely on when identifying suspected shoplifters," he said.

In response to the ACLU’s letter, Hot Mama CEO Megan Tamte wrote that the company would comply and called the charges a "great learning moment."