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Case Name Times v. Target EE-NY-0295
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-02993 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Outten & Golden
Case Summary
On April 5, 2018, The Fortune Society, Inc., a not-for-profit whose mission is to support the successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals, and two former employees of the Target Corporation filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ... read more >
On April 5, 2018, The Fortune Society, Inc., a not-for-profit whose mission is to support the successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals, and two former employees of the Target Corporation filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued Target under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that Target utilized a job applicant screening process that systematically eliminated thousands of qualified African Americans and Latinos from jobs based on their race or national origin. The plaintiffs, represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Outten & Golden, sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. The case was assigned to Judge Deborah A. Batts and Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman.

At issue in this case was Target’s use of criminal background checks to screen applicants for prior convictions, many of which are unrelated to the job sought or occurred long before the individual’s application for employment at Target. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant’s hiring practices and procedures were unlawful under Title VII because they had a significant adverse impact upon African Americans and Latinos and because these practices were neither job-related nor consistent with business necessity.

On the same day the complaint was filed, the parties moved for preliminary approval of a class action settlement, conditional certification of a settlement class, and appointment of class counsel. The class was defined as, with some exceptions, all African-American and Latino applicants who were denied employment from a Target Stores Job due to a final adjudication on a pre-employment background check that did not clear the applicant to proceed based on their criminal history record, from the start of the class liability period on May 11, 2006, to the date of preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.

The settlement agreed to a priority hiring process for members of the class. For class members who were hired but were terminated within six months of their employment due to no fault of their own, Target agreed to write them employment letters stating that they had hired the candidates with knowledge of their criminal record and that the candidates had been fired through no fault of their own.

The agreement also required Target to retain two experts in the field of industrial and organizational psychology to design, develop, and implement properly validated adjudication guidelines for the hiring of job applicants with criminal histories for hourly jobs at Target stores. These experts were to monitor compliance for the one-year settlement term. Target agreed to establish a settlement fund of $3,742,500. Two named plaintiffs were to receive up to $20,000 each, one named plaintiff was to receive $2,500, and members of the class no longer eligible for the hiring process were to receive up to $1,000 each. Cash settlement payments were limited to $1,200,000 and $1,900,000 was reserved for attorneys’ fees and costs. Target agreed to give $600,000 in donations to non-profits focused on the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals. The court was to retain jurisdiction over the matter to assure compliance.

The court conditionally approved the settlement agreement on October 29, 2019 pending and objections from class members who had been served notice late. No class members objected, and the court gave the settlement final approval on December 4. The monitoring period is in force as of March 2020.

Jake Parker - 06/20/2018
Jonah Feitelson - 03/26/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Expungement of Employment Record
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Position Restored
Reinstatement
Reporting
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Target Corporation
Plaintiff Description Two former Target employees and The Fortune Society, Inc., a not-for-profit community-based organization headquartered in Queens, New York, with a mission to support the successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals and promote alternatives to incarceration.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Outten & Golden
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2019 - 2020
Filed 04/05/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:18-cv-02993 (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0295-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-NY-0295-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, Conditional Certification of Settlement Class, Appointment of Class Counsel, and Approval of Plaintiff's Proposed Notice of Settlement [ECF# 5]
EE-NY-0295-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motions for Certification of the Settlement Class and Final Approval of the Class Action Settlement, Approval of Attorneys' Fees and Costs, and Approval of Service Award [ECF# 55] (2019 WL 5616867) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0295-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/29/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Freeman, Debra Carol (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0003 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bentley, Cheryl-Lyn (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Ifill, Sherrilyn (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Klein, Adam T. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Levy, Lisa Ann (Connecticut) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-9000
McNerney, Christopher M. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Miazad, Ossai (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Montag, Coty R (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Shay, Giovanna (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Spital, Samuel (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002 | EE-NY-0295-9000
Steel, Lewis M (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-0001 | EE-NY-0295-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Girouard, Mark (Minnesota) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-9000
Lewis, Donald M (Minnesota) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-9000
Schmitt, Joseph G. (Minnesota) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0295-9000

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