Target Settles Lawsuit Over Claims It Screened Blacks, Hispanics Out Of Jobs

Target has agreed to pay $3.7 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over allegations that its use of criminal background checks kept thousands of black and Hispanic job applicants from getting employment.

It resolves claims that the mega-retailer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on race, gender and other characteristics.

As part of the settlement, eligible African-American and Latino applicants who denied employment from a Target store because of a criminal background check since May 2006 will be eligible for priority hiring or interviewing for open positions. Alternately, they could seek a financial award of up to $1000.

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Target is also giving $600,000 to five organizations that work to help individuals with criminal backgrounds find employment: AccessAbility’s Career & Education Pathways Program and RS Eden in Minnesota, Center for Employment Opportunities and The Fortune Society in New York, and A New Way of Life Reentry Project in California.