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Retailer agrees to settlement in discrimination lawsuit

Some black or Latino Texas residents who applied for but were rejected from a job at Target after a background check might be eligible to reapply for those jobs or could receive a payout. This agreement was part of the settlement by Target after a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of job applicants. The settlement is still pending court approval.

The lawsuit was filed on April 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for people who have been turned down for a job since May 11, 2006. The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund brought the complaint, which centered on two plaintiffs who had progressed in the hiring process but were then denied jobs because of old convictions. The lawsuit argued that Target's broad-based approach to screening violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it was a practice that disproportionately affected black and Latino applicants.

In addition to its offer to former candidates affected by the practice, Target is changing its hiring practices so that background screenings happen at the end of the process. Applicants will have the chance to explain any criminal convictions.

People who believe they have faced discrimination at some stage of the hiring process might want to discuss the situation with an attorney. If people are denied a job because of a protected characteristic, such as race, sex or religion, this may constitute discrimination. Another violation may be workplace retaliation against a person who reports discrimination. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against the company. If the discrimination has been a widespread practice affecting many people, it could become a class action suit.

Source: USA Today, "Target agrees to settle a lawsuit alleging discrimination against blacks and Latinos", Charisse Jones, April 6, 2018

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