Target Racial Bias Case Ends in $3.7 Million Settlement

by | May 15, 2018 | Blog Posts

A lawsuit against Target alleging bias in its hiring policies recently settled in federal court. The company had been accused by former job applicants of racial bias in background checks. The settlement amount of $3.7 million as well as promised hiring changes by Target make this an important win for plaintiffs. Plaintiffs Carnella Times and Erving Smith claimed that they received conditional employment offers from Target, which were later rescinded after background checks turned up old convictions. They claimed that Target’s hiring policies “have a significant adverse impact upon African Americans and Latinos (who, because of systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system are arrested and incarcerated at rates substantially higher than whites).” In the settlement, Target agreed to the following:

  • $3.7 million payment
  • Launch of a hiring initiative for anyone in the class action impacted by the pre-employment screening policy
  • Applicants in the class action who don’t qualify for work at Target can get a cash payout.

In addition, Target indicated that it has stopped asking about criminal history on its employment application and only requests that information toward the end of the hiring process and gives job-seekers the chance to explain a criminal record. Discrimination cases against large high-profile companies can be particularly difficult. Such companies are well-funded and don’t want to admit to discriminatory practices that could result in many more lawsuits and bad publicity. Despite the difficulties, it is important for plaintiffs and attorneys to bring these actions to change employment practices by the defendant and other employers who may be doing the same things. Class actions often take many years to resolve even once a preliminary settlement has been reached. These delays can have a significant impact on law firms waiting for payment in order to pay their bills. At RapidFunds, we are former litigators and are happy to support the good work of law firms who help end discriminatory practices. We provide post-settlement funding to plaintiff’s firms in class action cases. To learn more about how post-settlement funding can help your firm, visit RapidFunds® Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Sherry Foley, Esq. at for more information.