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.
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:
Relief also is being sought for:
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.