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Wal-Mart will pay $17.5 million to settle racial bias lawsuit

The world's largest retailer agrees to make changes but denies that it engaged in any pattern of wrongful discrimination in recruiting and hiring truck drivers.

February 21, 2009|Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, will pay $17.5 million to settle a lawsuit claiming that the company discriminated against African Americans in recruiting and hiring truck drivers.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004 by Daryal Nelson, who claimed that he was rejected for a truck driver position because of his race. The lawsuit was given class-action status in May 2007.

Wal-Mart's motions to dismiss the case or decertify the class were denied last month. The settlement, filed with the court Friday, averts a trial set to begin March 16. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart denied that it engaged in any pattern of wrongful discrimination.

The company agreed to provide priority placements for 23 black applicants and to establish benchmark hiring goals to ensure diversity.

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