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Pineville Staples Manager Mistakenly Assumes Pregnant Woman Is Shoplifting

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Staples fired a manager Monday for assuming an expecting mother of twins was shoplifting at a store in Pineville.

According to a statement issued to WSOC-TV by the office supply company, the manager “did not follow correct protocol" or customer service guidelines when the manager asked a police officer to ask Sherell Bates if she was concealing merchandise underneath her shirt as she was checking out of the store. Bates had been shopping for back-to-school supplies.

Bates told WSOC-TV that the officer asked her what was underneath her shirt and did not believe her when she told him she was pregnant with twins. She said she lifted up her shirt to expose a portion of her stomach, to prove her pregnancy.

Staples said it has since apologized to Bates and has given her a full refund.