Target agreed to pay a $2.8 million fine Monday after federal officials accused the retail giant of using applicant job tests that discriminated against women and minorities.
The investigation into the company’s hiring practices was conducted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agency is tasked with resolving cases of workplace discrimination.
“We applaud Target for taking corrective action to ensure the validity of their hiring practices,” EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said in a statement. “This resolution demonstrates the benefits of working with EEOC and serves as a model for businesses committed to effective and lawful selection procedures.”
The agency found the applicant tests were not sufficiently related to the open position and therefore violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The investigation, however, did not show the company gave different and more difficult tests to women and minorities. Julie Schmid, acting director for the agency in Minneapolis, argues despite this the tests still adversely impacted certain people.
“The tests were not sufficiently job-related,” Schmid said according to the Star Tribune. “It’s not something in particular about the contents of the tests. The tests on their face were neutral.”
Target has reaffirmed its position of being an equal employment company. Throughout the investigation the company has corroborated with the EEOC.
“While the EEOC found that assessments had potential adverse impact, it did not find that there were any disparities in Target’s actual hiring,” a spokeswoman for Target told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Thus far, Target has taken actions which the EEOC has been satisfied with. During the investigation, Target stopped using the applicant tests, has agreed not to use it again and will now monitor the test for whether they will adversely impact minorities or women. The store will also provide an annual report to the EEOC.
“None of the assessments that were included in the EEOC’s adverse impact determination are being used today,” the Target spokeswoman continued. “Target fully cooperated throughout the EEOC’s review by sharing substantial documentation and data and providing numerous interviews.
The application test in question go back at least a decade and may have impacted upwards of 3,000 people.
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