Target Claims Race Bias Class-Action Suit Doesn’t Fit

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Feb 12, 2002
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Allegations that Target Corp. discriminated against African-American applicants
seeking management jobs in Wisconsin were “totally without merit,”
according to the retailer. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) filed a lawsuit on Friday against Target, asserting that the Minneapolis-based
company exhibited an apparent pattern of refusing qualified African-American
candidates for entry-level management jobs. “Target Corporation is, and
always will be, an equal opportunity employer. We are proud of our track record
and commitment to diversity in our work force,” says Target spokesperson
Todd Blackwell. Blackwell adds that Target has been working with the EEOC for
more than a year after three college graduates filed a complaint after applying
to Target stores in the Milwaukee area, as reported by the Associated Press.

The suit seeks monetary damages for the three people who filed complaints and
other African-Americans who applied for jobs. The agency probably will seek
permission from the court to advertise in newspapers to find others that applied
for jobs during the period outlined in the suit, says Dennis McBride, an attorney
with the EEOC in Milwaukee. It also seeks a permanent injunction against Target,
forbidding the company from engaging in discriminatory hiring practices.

The three people mentioned in the suit are now employed, according to McBride.
Keith Stanley, who holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, is working three
jobs. Kalisha White, who has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, is employed in
a human resources department at a local hospital and is working on a master’s
degree in business administration. Ralpheal Edgeston works as a teacher at the
Urban League Academy.

Moderator Comment: What can businesses do to ensure that diversity is
promoted in their organizations?

For a good site that explores diversity news and issues,
check out www.diversityinc.com.
This is a paid subscription site (worth the fee if you are in HR). You can view summaries
on stories covered at no cost. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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