Target Corporation (TGT) will have to pay $3.74 million to come out of the dispute which charged that the company discriminated against African-Americans and Hispanics during its hiring process. The retailer is said to have excluded the job seekers on the basis of criminal background information and in doing so, it turned down employment to qualified candidates owing to old, irrelevant and/or minor convictions in their records.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which filed the class-action suit, said in some cases, the candidates deserved a fair shot at employment. Target was said to have popped the questions about misdeeds that happened over a decade ago and which had nothing to do with the positions the applicants had applied for. This discrimination apparently took place more against African-Americans and Latinos compared to white people.
Target said it had stopped asking people about their criminal backgrounds in its application and that such questions only come up during the final stages of the hiring process. While the retailer believes that background checks are necessary while hiring with the aim of customers’ safety, the Minneapolis-based company has agreed to review its hiring policies and also assist organizations that help people with conviction histories to find jobs.
All individuals included in the dispute can now seek for jobs at Target and those who cannot apply due to retirement or alternative employment will receive monetary benefits.
Of late, many companies have been facing ire over different forms of discrimination. Last month, Gap Inc. had to fire three employees at its Old Navy store for racially profiling a customer. In the tech sector, Google has been facing a number of lawsuits over discrimination against women, conservatives and white men.
Any kind of job discrimination whether it is racial, gender, nationality, disability, etc should be avoided in hiring, fixing salaries, promotions, etc. When it comes to sensitive issues, companies must tread them carefully.