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Target to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit for $2.8M

Target Corp. has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle employment discrimination allegations filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency said Monday.

According to an EEOC investigation, the Minneapolis-based retailer previously used pre-hire employment assessments for exempt-level professional positions on a nationwide basis that vetted candidates based on race and sex, breaching Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The inquiry also found that Target violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by subjecting applicants to pre-employment medical examinations conducted by psychologists. Furthermore, the retailer failed to maintain required records to properly assess the impact of its hiring procedures.

While Target discontinued its use of such tests during the course of the EEOC investigation, thousands were adversely affected and the monetary settlement will be shared among these individuals.

Additionally, Target has agreed to make changes to its data collection systems and retain a third-party consultant to provide a minimum of two hours of training at least once per year to all hiring personnel. It will also monitor the assessments it uses for potentially adverse effects on race, ethnicity and gender and provide the EEOC with a detailed summary of these studies each year.

“We applaud Target for taking corrective action to ensure the validity of their hiring practices,” EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said in a statement. “This resolution demonstrates the benefits of working with EEOC and serves as a model for businesses committed to effective and lawful selection procedures.”

Julianne Bowman, director of EEOC’s Chicago district office, continued, “We are pleased that Target chose to work with us to reach this conciliation agreement and that through our joint efforts, we have been able to bring about real change at Target without resorting to protracted litigation.”