Drugstore Chain to Pay $24.4M in Race Discrim Case

March 27, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal judge in Illinois has given final approval to a $24.4 million settlement of charges that Walgreen Co. discriminated against workers because of their race.

U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois approved the settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Deerfield, Illinois-based national drugstore chain.The agreement resolves a June 2005 suit on behalf of 14 African American current and former Walgreens’ employees and a separate case against Walgreens also filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, according to an EEOC news release.

The EEOC alleged that Walgreens discriminated against African American retail management and pharmacy employees in promotion, compensation, and assignment.

The release said the payment is one of the agency’s largest such agreements ever reached in a race discrimination case. The monetary payments will be shared by approximately 10,000 African American current and former store-level management employees.

The agency said its agreement with Walgreens also includes an injunction prohibiting any further discrimination and mandating institutional changes to guard against additional problems. The pact requires Walgreens to retain outside consultants to review and make recommendations regarding their employment practices, including standardized, non-discriminatory promotion and store assignment standards, procedures, and promotional benchmarks.

The settlement pact can be viewed here .