Photo courtesy of Target Corporation
Target's downtown Minneapolis headquarters
The company allegedly denied people with criminal records job interviews even when the crime was old, expunged, or irrelevant to the job they were applying for.
February 20, 2013
Minneapolis-based retail giant Target Corporation is reportedly being accused of unfair hiring practices.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and TakeAction Minnesota announced Wednesday that they filed 10 complaints against Target with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Star Tribune reported
The two groups reportedly allege that Target’s hiring practices discriminate against applicants of color with criminal records; the retailer allegedly denied people with criminal records job interviews even when the crime was old, expunged, or irrelevant to the job they were applying for. The two groups said that in addition to the 10 cases for which complaints were filed, there are an additional 150 cases of discrimination that have been documented.
But Target has denied any wrongdoing, according to the Star Tribune
. Spokeswoman Molly Snyder reportedly said that the existence of a criminal record does not disqualify a candidate for employment, unless it “indicates an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of our guests, our team members, or our property.”
Meanwhile, EEOC spokeswoman Julie Schmid reportedly declined to comment on the allegations; she neither confirmed nor denied whether her office received the NAACP complaints.
Schmid told the Star Tribune
that, according to federal law, companies cannot adopt employment policies that prohibit applicants with criminal records from being considered for hire. Instead, employers must review each job applicant’s situation individually—considering how long ago the arrest or conviction occurred, the nature of the alleged crime, and if it is relevant to the job being applied for, she said.
In a Wednesday press conference, Minnetonka resident Kissy Mason reportedly said she applied for and was offered a cashiers job at Target in April. However, she said the job offer was rescinded two days later because she had a criminal record that was expunged in 2011 and was related to a 2004 incident.
Pepsi Beverages Company was fined $3.13 million by the EEOC last year for allegedly refusing to interview or hire black workers who were arrested or convicted between 2006 and 2010, according to the Star Tribune