Retailer settles discrimination lawsuit

Target Corporation agrees to review its policies for screening job applicants and pays close to USD4mill to settle lawsuit

Retailer settles discrimination lawsuit

To settle a discrimination lawsuit, Target Corporation, a US discount store retailer, has agreed to review its policies for screening job applicants which disqualified thousands of African Americans and Hispanics from working at the company.

They will also pay USD3.74million as part of the settlement.

The lawsuit claims that its use of criminal background checks since 2001 “imported the racial and ethnic disparities” in the criminal justice system and discriminated potential hires.

Suitable candidates who have been wrongly denied hourly and entry-level jobs since May 2006 will receive USD1.2million or “priority hiring”.

Another USD600,000 will fund non-profit organisations that help ex-offenders re-enter the workforce.

The preliminary settlement is subject to a judge’s approval.

The retailer did not admit any wrongdoing.

“We have a number of measures in place to ensure we’re fair and equitable in our hiring,” while “maintaining a safe and secure working and shopping environment for team members and guests,” said Jenna Reck, a Target spokeswoman.

She added that the retailer no longer asks for criminal histories in job applications, but still considers convictions “important” and gathers criminal background information late in the hiring process.

The plaintiffs included two African Americans who claimed they were denied stocker jobs after background checks uncovered past convictions, and The Fortune Society, which helps ex-offenders re-enter society.

The latter filed a similar discrimination charge last year against Macy’s Inc.



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