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Target agrees to settle lawsuit over job background checks

California job seekers may be interested to learn that Target has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleged its employment background check policy discriminates against African-American and Latino applicants. If the deal is approved by a New York federal court, the retailer will pay $3.7 million and offer priority job placement to those who were wrongly denied employment due to criminal screenings.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of affected applicants, Target's background check process is overly broad and unfairly discriminates against black and Latino job applicants. This is because the criminal justice system also discriminates against black and Latino defendants, making them more likely to have a criminal record. The two main plaintiffs in the case were initially offered jobs only to be denied employment over decades-old convictions that were unrelated to the positions they were applying for.

Target said that it will continue to perform background checks on potential employees, but it will now give job seekers the chance to explain any criminal history. The company has also removed a question about criminal history from its initial employment application. Job applicants who were denied employment due to the company's background check process will have the choice of accepting a payout or getting priority consideration for a job at the retailer.

California employees are protected from workplace discrimination by state and federal laws. Individuals who believe they have been the victims of illegal discrimination may find relief by discussing their case with an attorney who has experience with these types of matters.

Source: USA Today, "Target agrees to settle a lawsuit alleging discrimination against blacks and Latinos," Charisse Jones, April 5, 2018

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