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Target Corp. To Pay $510,000 In Discrimination Settlement

Published by on December 11, 2007

According to a press release by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Target Corp. agreed in a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin to pay $510,000 to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the agency alleging discrimination in hiring against blacks. The EEOC reports:  “Under the two-and-one-half-year consent decree ending the nearly […]

According to a press release by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Target Corp. agreed in a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin to pay $510,000 to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the agency alleging discrimination in hiring against blacks.

The EEOC reports:  “Under the two-and-one-half-year consent decree ending the nearly six-year old litigation (Civil Action No. 02-C-0146, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Feb. 2002), Target agreed to pay a total of $510,000 to Kalisha White, Ralpheal Edgeston Brown, Cherise Brown Easley, and James Daniels, Jr. – African Americans who were denied jobs as assistant store managers in 2000 and 2001. As part of the decree, Target also agreed to revise its document retention policies; provide training to supervisors on employment discrimination and record-keeping; report on hiring decisions; and post a notice about the consent decree to employees in its District 110 stores and offices.

The consent decree follows a 2006 unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, which reversed Judge Randa’s dismissal of the case and ruled that it should go to trial. The appeals court found that the EEOC had presented sufficient evidence that Target refused to hire the four African American applicants for entry-level management positions because of their race. The court also held that a trial was required on the issue of whether Target had destroyed employment applications in bad faith, and whether its changed policies with respect to retaining records were sufficient.”

From the press release, it appears that the company’s records retention policies were not being followed.  Apparently the issue of whether the company had destroyed records in bad faith was set for trial.  Employers must ensure that their record retention policies are correct under the law and that they are actually followed in practice.  (The “actually followed in practice” part is the hard part.)

Here is the EEOC’s record keeping regulation.  Personnel records must be kept one year from the date of the making of the
record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later.

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