During the summer of 2005, a group of former Walgreens employees filed for a private lawsuit, alleging the Pharmacy Corporation of racial discrimination within the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) soon filed an employment discrimination class action lawsuit against the Illinois-based drugstore chain, Walgreens Co. The EEOC Regional Attorney for St. Louis, Robert G. Johnson, stated that the Commission would seek back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and an injunctive relief for the afflicted workers. And on Thursday, July 12, 2007, Walgreens Co. agreed to a lawsuit settlement of $20 Million.
After investigating both St. Louis and Miami district offices, the EEOC determined that Walgreens has been assigning African American employees to low-performing stores and to African American based communities. They also discovered that a number of employees were denied promotional opportunities based on racial discrimination, which violates federal law. The EEOC thus found sufficient evidence to confirm the allegations or racial discrimination in the workplace, filing the case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts.
The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act consists of many areas, including:
- Equal employment opportunity
- Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin
- Other unlawful employment practices
- Prevention of unlawful employment practice
In the Fiscal Year of 2006, the EEOC accounted for 36 percent of its caseloads to racial-based discrimination charges. Usually, these types of charges are not uncommon and often frequent, yet in the past 15 years racial discrimination charges have substantially increased. The EEOC Chair, Naomi C. Earp, represented the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by stating that, “We will not rest until workplace decision-making is based on merit rather than immutable and irrelevant characteristics, such as race or color.”
Read More: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Have you found yourself in a similar situation as this Walgreens lawsuit and believe you have been discriminated against at work? If so, a lawyer can help you seek justice! Contact a racial discrimination lawyer today.