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Target Settles Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Background Checks Discriminated Against Blacks and Latinos


Eligible blacks and Hispanics who were denied hourly entry-level jobs will receive $1.2 million or “priority hiring”

Target will play $3.74 million to resolve allegations that its background criminal checks discriminated against thousands of black and Latino applicants.  In 2006, a complaint was filed on behalf of Carnella Times, who received an offer to work as an overnight stocker in a Target store in South Windsor, CT.  The offer was later rescinded after the background check revealed that she had two misdemeanor convictions from a decade earlier. 

As part of the settlement, the class members will receive priority in its hiring process at all of the company’s 1,800 U.S. stores.  Applicants who are no longer in the job market, either due to other employment or retirement, will receive a cash award.  Target had been performing background checks since 2001 but revised its hiring policies over the past 10 years and stopped asking applicants about their criminal histories as part of the job application.  Instead, those questions appear “in the final stages of the hiring process” according to Jenna Reck, a Target spokeswoman.   She also says that this process change “ensures individuals are considered for employment based on their qualifications, interview and availability.”

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