Walgreens accused of racial discrimination in federal class action
Tiffany B. Klosener
Amy L. Coopman
Walgreens is accused of systemic racial discrimation and segregation against black employees nationwide, according to a class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois.John Tucker, a clerk in Missouri
The suit, which was brought by 11 former and current employees, seeks back pay, front pay, promotions, hirings and benefits, as well as punitive and compensatory damages. It also asks that Walgreens be ordered to carry out affirmative action programs.
"These decisions to discriminate and segregate are based in most instances on very subjective judgments of predominantly white upper level management," the suit states. The class covers more than 4,700 stores in 44 states.
The suit, filed June 20, claims discrimination in selection and promotions.
"Blacks are routinely denied and passed over for promotions despite their seniority, work experience and/or qualifications whlie less senior, less experienced and/or less qualified white persons are selected for promotions to the positions," the class action suit alleges.
It also claims that black management employees are "intentionally and systematically steered into black/low income" stores and segregated there.
"This segregation has a number of adverse career and economic consequences for the black management employees," the suit claims. "These stores have a higher customer volume but lower profitability than other stores. These stores are often more dangerous than other stores."
The members of the class claim that managers at "black/low income" stores aren't compensated fairly because the stores aren't as profitable.
The plaintiffs include:
Angela Miller, a former store manager in Missouri
Jovan Haney, an assistant store manager in Indiana
Leon Bradley, an executive store assistant in Missouri
Arien Jackson, a former assistant store manager
William Strickland, an executive store assistant
Oscar Green, a store manager in Florida
Kevin Riddle, an executive store assistant in Florida
Avery Anderson, a store manager in Michigan
Malica Page, a former service clerk in Missouri
Relief also is being sought for:
Denying black employees promotions in retail and non-retail management based on race
Deterring and prohibiting black employees from seeking more desireable and/or higher paying positions and promotional opportunities
Denying black employees training
Assigning and segregating blacks to harder, less profitable store locations than white persons
Assigning and segregating black employees to locations and facilities in areas that have predominantly lower income customers
Providing unequal terms and conditions of employment
Subjecting black employees to a racially discriminatory work environment; and
Failing to hire blacks into the Assistant Store Manager/Management Trainee positions on the same basis as whites.
The class is represented by Tiffany B. Klosener, Amy L. Coopman and W. James Foland of the Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer firm in Kansas City and Kent Spriggs of the Spriggs Law Firm in Tallahassee, Fla.