Target pays $2.8 million in settlement of discrimination lawsuit

The Wall Street Journal reports that on Monday, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Target has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle charges that it used assessment tests to discriminate based on sex and race during its hiring process. According to the Journal, the settlement will go to individuals impacted by the hiring process. Target has since stopped using the tests. The tests were also found to violate the Disabilities Act, which prohibits applicants from taking medical exams prior to a job offer.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides publications and other technical assistance on the basic requirements of the ADA. It does not enforce any part of the law.

The EEOC on Monday said three “employment assessments,” which Target no longer uses, were not sufficiently job-related or necessary for the discount retailer’s business, and therefore violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC said the settlement payment will be distributed among thousands of people affected by Target’s employment screening.

It also said the Minneapolis-based company will more closely monitor its hiring, and retain an outside consultant to train personnel responsible for administering similar assessments.

In a statement, Target said it cooperated with the EEOC review, which addressed employment judgments it had used over the last decade. It said the EEOC found that “only a small fraction” could have been problematic.

“We continue to firmly believe that no improper behavior occurred regarding these assessments,” Target added.

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