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Target Corp. to pay $2.8 million to resolve EEOC race and sex discrimination finding

(August 25, 2015) Retail giant, Target Corporation, headquartered in Minneapolis, has agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve a Commissioner's charge of discrimination which was investigated in the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Based on the investigation, EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that three employment assessments formerly used by Target disproportionately screened out applicants for exempt-level professional positions based on race and sex.  The tests violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EEOC found.  

In addition, EEOC found that one of the assessments Target formerly used in its hiring process also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  EEOC found that Target also committed record-keeping violations by failing to maintain records sufficient to assess the impact of its hiring procedures.

EEOC's investigation revealed that thousands were adversely affected when Target used these assessments in its hiring process.  The monetary settlement will be divided among these individuals as appropriate.

As part of its agreement with EEOC, Target agreed to:

- Pay for a claims administrator to distribute the $2.8 million

- Discontinued the use of those tests that violated the law

- Monitor the assessments it uses for exempt-level professional positions for adverse impact based on race, ethnicity and gender.  Annually, Target will

- Annually provide EEOC with a detailed summary of the studies and the adverse impact analysis conducted

- To retain an experienced outside consultant to provide a minimum of two hours of training at least once per year

"We applaud Target for taking corrective action to ensure the validity of their hiring practices," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang.  "This resolution demonstrates the benefits of working with EEOC and serves as a model for businesses committed to effective and lawful selection procedures."

Julianne Bowman, director of EEOC's Chicago's District Office, said, "We are pleased that Target chose to work with us to reach this conciliation agreement and that through our joint efforts, we have been able to bring about real change at Target without resorting to protracted litigation."

The Minneapolis Area Office is part of EEOC's Chicago District.  The Chicago District is responsible for investigating charges of discrimination in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota.


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