Target may be known as the place where you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of discounted goodness, but apparently the retail giant has a problem with discrimination. According to a new settlement, Target used tactics to keep POC from employment.
Making a Target run has become a national pastime for many Americans, however after the details of a racial discrimination lawsuit against the retailer were revealed, that may change. According to The Root, Target has agreed to fork over a whopping $3.74 million in settlement money after being accused of using criminal background checks to specifically keep African-Americans and Hispanics from employment opportunities.
Via The Root:
Target Corp. is dishing out a hefty $3.74 million to settle a lawsuit in which it is accused of using criminal-background checks to keep thousands of black and/or Hispanic people from getting jobs. As part of the agreement, the retail giant has also agreed to review its policies for screening applicants, Reuters reports.
The preliminary settlement, which was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in New York City, still requires the approval of a judge. Despite the money and the promise to review practices, Target did not admit to any wrongdoing.
A spokesperson for Target, Jenna Reck, said that the company no longer asks for criminal histories in job applications, but said that convictions are still considered “important” and noted that the retailer still gathers criminal-background information late in the hiring process. “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,” she said.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and the law firm of Outten & Golden represented the plaintiffs in the case, where they pointed out that Target’s screening process was harmful to those who were seeking employment, specifically minorities.
“Criminal background information can be a legitimate tool for screening job applicants,” LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement, but Target’s background checks were “harmful to many qualified applicants who deserved a fair shot at a good job.”
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