Wal-Mart is revamping the hiring practices in its logistics division as part of a $17 million settlement of a racial discrimination class-action lawsuit.
The lawsuit, Daryal Nelson and Tommy Armstrong v. Wal-Mart, Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation LLC, asserts Wal-Mart discriminated against African Americans on the basis of race in hiring over-the road truck drivers in the retail giant's private fleet. Wal-Mart denies the charges.
"Resolving this litigation is in the best interest of our company, our shareholders and our associates," said Daphne Moore, spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores. "Encouraging diversity is an important part of the hiring process for all areas of our company. We are implementing improvements to our transportation division's recruitment, selection and personnel systems and believe they will be an integral part of our commitment to diversity."
In addition to the monetary settlement, Wal-Mart's Logistics Division agreed to several hiring practice changes, including benchmark goals requiring the racial composition of future hires be proportionate to the racial composition of the applicants. It also agreed to enhance its recruitment efforts and advertising targeted to African Americans.
"We are very pleased with the settlement," said Hank Bates, an attorney representing the African-American truck drivers. "This is an excellent result for the class both in terms of the 17.5 million dollars in monetary relief and in terms of Wal-Mart's commitments to job placements, equal opportunity and enhanced recruitment efforts moving forward."