Target Must Pay $2.8 Million to Settle Discrimination Charges

Target has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle charges that it’s hiring process was discriminatory. The EEOC’s Minneapolis office (Target is headquartered in Minneapolis) investigated the case.

According to an EEOC news release, “EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that three employment assessments formerly used by Target disproportionately screened out applicants for exempt-level professional positions based on race and sex. The tests were not sufficiently job-related and consistent with business necessity and thus violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Target was also found to be using assessments that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (www.eeoc.gov).

During investigation, Target stopped using the assessments in question.

It was also discovered that Target  was not keeping adequate records in its applicant tracking systems to be able to gauge any adverse impact of its hiring process.

A Target spokeswoman stated, “We continue to fully believe that no improper behavior occurred regarding these assessments. However in light of the fact that none of the assessments cited by the EEOC are being used today and given the significant resources that would be required to litigate this case, Target agreed to a settlement with the EEOC.”

To learn more about the case you can view the EEOC news release.

 

 

Updates to OSHA’s Amputation Program

On August 13th, OSHA issued an update to their National Emphasis Program on Amputations.The NEP targets industries that have high amputation rates. OSHA uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ injury date in order to find the industries with the worst amputation rates.

According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, “Workers injured from unguarded machinery can suffer permanent disability or lose their lives. This directive will help ensure that employers identify and eliminate serious workplace hazards and provide safe workplaces for all workers.”

This update will apply to workplaces that have equipment and machinery that have the potential to cause amputations. To learn more you can view the directive’s PDF  here or visit OSHA’s website.

Construction Company Faces Nearly $2 Million Dollars in Fines

A construction company in Illinois faces $1,792,000 in fines for willfully exposing eight workers to asbestos. Many of the workers were not from the US and were working for the company using a special temporary visa.

Allegedly, the employer forced the employees to to remove materials containing asbestos while they were working on renovating a former elementary school.

The assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health stated, “Kehrer Brothers Construction brought non-English speaking workers to the US and knowingly exposed them to asbestos. Kehrer also threatened to fire his employees if they spoke with our investigators.This is outrageous, illegal behavior. We at OSHA will do everything in our power to ensure this employer stops endangering his employees.”

OSHA cited the employer for 16 egregious, nine willful, and six serious violations. In addition to the asbestos exposure the employer also did not require the workers to wear proper respirators, use appropriate safety methods, or train the workers about the dangers of asbestos.

To learn more visit the OSHA news release.