The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Walgreens claiming it racially discriminated against black management employees and pharmacists by denying them promotions.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the commission claims that since at least Jan. 1, 2001, Walgreens has engaged in unlawful employment practices nationwide.

"More than thirty days prior to the institution of this lawsuit, Johnny Tucker, Pearle Phillips and over twenty other employees filed charges with the Commission alleging violations of Title VII by Walgreens," the complaint states.

The suit also alleges that Walgreens has engaged in a pattern and practice of race discrimination by making store assignments to black management trainees, managers, and pharmacists because of their race.

The commission also alleges Walgreens has engaged in a pattern and practice of race discrimination by denying promotions to black employees who have applied for or have been in the Retail Career Path and the Pharmacy Career Path because of their race.

"The effect of the practices complained of has been to deprive Charging Parties and other African-American employees of equal employment opportunities and otherwise adversely affecting their status as employees because of their race," the complaint states.

The complaint continues, "The unlawful employment practices complained of...are and were done with malice or reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of Charging Parties and other African-American employees."

The Commission requests that District Judge Michael Reagan:

  • Grant a permanent injunction enjoining Walgreens, its officers, successors, assigns and all persons in active concert or participation with it, from engaging in the unlawful conduct alleged and any other employment practice which discriminates on the basis of race;

  • Order Walgreens to institute and carry out policies, practices, and programs that provide equal employment opportunities for African-Americans and eradicate the effects of its past and present unlawful employment practices;

  • Order Walgreens to make whole Charging Parties and other affected African-American employees by providing appropriate back pay with prejudgment interest, in amounts to be determined at trial, and other affirmative relief necessary to eradicate the effects of its unlawful employment practices, including but not limited to rightful-place promotions and pay increases.;

  • Order Walgreens to make whole Charging Parties and other affected African-American employees by providing compensation for past and future pecuniary losses resulting from the unlawful employment practices described in amounts to be determined at trial; and

  • Order Defendant to make whole Charging Parties and other affected African-American employees by providing compensation for past and future non pecuniary
    losses resulting from the unlawful employment practices including compensation for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and humiliation, in amounts to be determined at trial.

    The commission is represented by Ronald Cooper, James Lee, Gwen Reams and by consent, Robert Johnson.

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