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Target Is Under The Microscope For Racist Employment Practices

As one of the largest retail stores in the United States, Target has more than 350,000 employees. With approximately 64 stores in Ohio, there are tens of thousands of Target workers in this state alone. Unfortunately, the company has a long history of accusations of race discrimination against employees.

In the last decade, Target has paid out millions of dollars to settle employment discrimination claims. One class action lawsuit claiming discrimination against Black and Hispanic workers settled for 3.74 million dollars. According to an article from Bloomberg, the company has missed its own goals for creating a diverse workforce and only two of the store’s many executives are black.

If you are a Target employee and you believe you have been illegally fired or discriminated against on the basis of race, you may be entitled to compensation. Call 513-621-8800 for a free consultation.

It is worth noting that Target is not alone in facing discrimination claims. Wal-Mart, Amazon and other retail stores continue to face allegations of racism in the workplace. Ultimately, race discrimination in the workplace is illegal, regardless of where it occurs.

Target Corp’s $3.74 Million Race Discrimination Lawsuit Settlement

A recently settled claim alleged that Target Corp violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The claim stated that Target was using background checks essentially to screen out Black and Hispanic employees. Allegedly, according to Reuters, Target “imported the racial and ethnic disparities” from the criminal justice system, disqualifying employees due to criminal histories that had nothing to do with the jobs for which they had applied.

The settlement included money for applicants who were the victims of this discriminatory policy. As part of the Settlement, Target also promised to work on improving hiring practices. In response to the outcome, the NAACP stated that criminal background checks can be acceptable screening tools, but not the way that Target Corp was using them.

Target’s Ill-Conceived Multi-Cultural Tips For Managers

Remember that embarrassing company memo from Wal-Mart, which was leaked in 2005? The note advised “how to dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart.” Well, now, another company is under the microscope. Recently, Target has been receiving unflattering attention for its labor practices.

Three previous employees of Target are suing the company for employment discrimination. According to the Huffington Post, the company distributed a document to managers, which served as a reminder that not all Hispanics wear sombreros or eat burritos.

The employees were workers in Target’s warehouse. In their suit, the employees allege discrimination on the worksite and add that Target’s “Multi-Cultural Tips,” intended for managers, were offensive in nature.

The suit alleges that the company-employer distributed a document to warehouse managers called, “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips.” The document purportedly featured tips on how to manage and oversee Hispanic employees. The plaintiffs note that the document covered several Hispanic stereotypes, including music, food and clothing. For example, one statement on the document claimed that Hispanics “may say ‘OK, OK’ and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face.” Another statement explained, “Music: not everyone dances to salsa.”

The plaintiffs additionally claim that their supervisors frequently used racial epithets when conversing with Hispanic employees. One plaintiff notes that he reported the issue to human resources; however, his superiors retaliated against him, and he was fired.

A spokesperson for target claims that the store is “firmly committed” workplace diversity. She adds, “That commitment includes respecting and valuing the diverse backgrounds of our more than 361,000 team members worldwide.”

All of this comes in a time when Target recently increased its marketing to the Hispanics. The store considers Hispanic customers as one of the largest minority groups in the country.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek damages for harassment, as well as recovery associated with race and age discrimination and retaliation.

Will Target Fulfill Its Promise Of More Diversity And Less Discrimination?

Target Corp made a promise to increase Black employees by 20 percent in a three-year span, according to CNBC. Currently, as mentioned, Target’s leadership is primarily white. Among the remainder of workers, half are white, 25 percent are Latino and 15 percent are Black.

Time will tell if the company follows through on this promise. Until then, victims of race discrimination and other forms of discrimination have the right to seek justice.

Pursuant to federal and state laws, the following is prohibited in an employment setting:

  • Race discrimination.
  • Gender or sex discrimination.
  • National-orientation discrimination.
  • Religious discrimination.
  • Disability discrimination.
  • Age discrimination.

If you believe that you have been victimized or discriminated against at your workplace, it may be time to contact a professional. An experienced employment law attorney can provide a free case evaluation. To learn more about your rights, contact a lawyer at our Cincinnati office. We serve people throughout Ohio.