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Employment Blog

Discrimination Claim Over Hiring Process Settled

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on August 31, 2015
Filed under Employment

Target Corporation has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle charges filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that the hiring process used for certain professional positions disproportionately screened out applicants based on race and gender.  Target Corporation paid this settlement without admitting liability based upon a claim by the EEOC that it potentially discriminated against applicants because of the testing processes that were used by Target to screen out candidates.  Target suggests that EEOC did not find any disparities in the actual hiring done by the Company but agreed to discontinue the use of the assessment tests that previously were used to screen out applicants.

A settlement of this large size points out the difficulties that an employer has in fighting against an EEOC claim, especially when the claim argues that the potential for discrimination exists.  Employers must be careful how they use any type of assessment process including test reviews conducted by psychologists because of a potential claim that applicants are being subject to a medical test before being given an offer of employment. 

Employers try very hard to develop safe and successful procedures to determine the best candidate for an available position but now must be careful that they are not prejudging applicants or inappropriately screening out applicants through the testing process.  This means that companies must get tests that are properly verified and shown to be neutral and do not create inappropriate screening of candidates based upon protected categories or characteristics.  Avoiding a $2.8 million settlement is a good business practice.