A woman attempting to buy some condoms at Walgreens learned that company policy allows employees to refuse to sell them to customers based on "moral objections." A manager did come and complete the transaction, but both the specific interaction and the wider policy speak to a future where we have more awful problems like this.
While vacationing in Wisconsin with her husband, Pentz realized she left her oral contraceptives at home, she told the Star Tribune. So she visited a Walgreens store in the city of Hayward to purchase condoms.
When she arrived at the checkout register, a clerk named John told her, "I can't sell those to you." When she asked for clarification, the clerk allegedly replied, "We can sell that to you. But I will not, because of my faith."
Pentz said, "That's none of your business."
The clerk responded, "Well, I'm sorry, this is what my faith demands."
"You're not sorry," Pentz replied.
She said that during their interaction, a line of customers began forming behind her. She then realized she was the only woman in the store. She began wondering if the clerk would've refused to sell her the condoms if she were a man.
The clerk called over a manager who signed the clerk out of the register, and the clerk reportedly left the area with a smirk. The manager then proceeded to sell Pentz the condoms.
When asked about the incident, a Walgreens spokesperson said, "Our company policy allows team members to step away from completing a transaction to which they have a moral objection and refer the transaction to a fellow team member or manager who will complete the customer's request."
The policy is troubling considering that Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., may serve as the only source for contraceptives in some communities.