It might be hard to believe, but 10 years after Obama was elected President of the United States, many employees still face racial discrimination either on the job or in the job market. This discrimination can take many forms, but all are illegal.
Just in case you thought that only small companies would commit racial discrimination, in this article we highlight recent racial discrimination lawsuits that were aimed at some of the largest companies in the country.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart Stores
In 2008, a group of 4,500 truck drivers sued Wal-Mart Stores after applying for jobs as truck drivers but being turned down. The truckers alleged that Wal-Mart used race as an illegitimate reason to not hire them and claimed that they were turned down in disproportionate numbers. In particular, Wal-Mart required black applicants to have a good credit history but did not require that white applicants meet the same standard.
Wal-Mart denied wrongdoing. However, it also settled for $17.5 million to make the lawsuit go away.
Target Sued for Racist Background Checks
Latino and African American job applicants sued Target for its criminal background check process. According to court records, the giant retailer had used criminal convictions against applicants even when the convictions did not bear any relation to the job or when they were years old. Target agreed to a $3.7 million settlement.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s Discrimination Against Non-Whites
Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch made the news for all the wrong reasons in 2003 when it was sued by a group of Latinos, Asian Americans, and African Americans. The plaintiffs alleged that the company had tried to make them work in the stock room rather than on the sales floor. A&F’s reason? It wanted a “classically American” look.
A&F ultimately settled a lawsuit filed by employees who had been fired for $50 million. As with Wal-Mart, the company did not admit liability but clearly paid a heavy price.
Racial Slurs at General Electric
This company was sued by 57 African Americans who claimed that their supervisor used racial slurs such as “lazy blacks,” “monkey,” and far worse. Plaintiffs also alleged that many were fired because of their race and that management knew of the discrimination but did not take affirmative steps to investigate it.
General Electric ultimately settled the dispute with the workers. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the media.
Responding to Discrimination
If you feel that an employer has racially discriminated against you, then you do have options. For example, you should report the violation to the appropriate government agency and then hire an attorney to pursue compensation.
At Marshall & Foreman, LLC, we have helped many clients vindicate their rights under the federal and state anti-discrimination laws. We are experienced at reaching favorable settlements with employers but are not afraid to sue in court, if necessary.
Contact us today. You can speak with a Columbus employment lawyer by calling 614-463-9790.