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Class Action Lawsuits Racial Discrimination Essay

Updated August 9, 2022

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Class Action Lawsuits Racial Discrimination Essay essay

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A class action lawsuit is when a group of people who has suffered the same or similar injury join together in a single lawsuit against the claimed offender (Carper’s Understanding the Law, 319). The method of this lawsuit is to be able to manage and defend the rights of the variety of representatives even if they did not plea to the court yet, which guarantees the system of such lawsuits effective which also gives a possibility for prosecutors to succeed in the case. Class action lawsuits cover violations of wage and hour laws, race, and gender discrimination. Wage and hour laws are laws that govern what the employer can pay the employee for the hours the employee worked.

Also, now a days we see a lot of inequality when it comes to gender and race everywhere we go, males in general are paid more than white woman, white woman are paid more than black woman, black woman are paid more than asian woman, and asian women are paid more than latin woman. For every $1.00 a white man makes, a white woman makes 77 cents and a latina woman makes 56 cents (Work & Equal Pay, Lachrista Greco). Not only during class action lawsuits lawyers can only receive a reward if they helped the individuals gather reparation of damage, but also this law protects the public eye from institutions and exclusive lobbyist. In this essay I will be talking about class action lawsuits for violation of race discrimination, gender discrimination, wage and hour laws against big companies such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Abercrombie.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Wal-Mart due to violation of wage and hour laws. This worldwide company settled to pay $35 million in favor of 88,000 Washington state store workers because they were forced to work off the clock, skip a meal and rest breaks. In Wal-Mart’s defence, they had a spokeswoman called Daphne Moore in which she mentioned that their most important policy is to always make meal breaks and rest breaks available and they must pay every associate for every hour they have worked (Wal-Mart settles lawsuit by Wash, Gene Johnson).

Unfortunately, Moore explained that since the lawsuit has been filed many years ago the Bentonville Ark-based retailer workers allegations were not very accurate to what the company is about in today’s society. Although, cases in California and Pennsylvania were the only cases that went to trial due to lawsuits against this company for wage and hour violations, Wal-Mart had to pay $640 million to be able to settle more than 63 lawsuits across the entire country. In the other hand, in Washington Wal-Mart’s settlement required to pay $10,000 each for the workers who filed the lawsuit, and the lawyers who worked for them will get paid around $10.5 million to cover for their eight years of work and legal fees. The accuracy of this lawsuit forced Wal-Mart to follow the rules to avoid wage and hour violations, since they had to pay each worker for how long they worked between $50 and $950, depending on the amount of evidence they can provide about the violations that this company committed (WalMart settles lawsuits by Wash, Gene Johnson).

Not only this worldwide company has been accused of violation of wage and hours, but also there has been lawsuits for race discrimination. In between the years of 2001 and 2008 around 4,500 black truck drivers in Avon, Colorado filed a racial discrimination class action lawsuit due to the store manager saying racists phrases towards the workers (5 Big Companies Sued for Racial Discrimination Wal-Mart Stores vs. Black Truck Drivers, Nadra Kareem Nittle). Also, a major group of African employees in Colorado happened to also sue this company due to being fired because the supervisors chose to give those jobs to local americans. This company denied every accusation but yet they agreed to settle for the amount of $17.5 million for all of the discrimination lawsuits in which had been filed and at fault for since the 1990’s (5 Big Companies Sued for Racial Discrimination Wal-Mart Stores vs. Black Truck Drivers, Nadra Kareem Nittle).

Wal-Mart also had class action lawsuits against them due to gender discrimination. For gender discrimination to be unlawful an employer must have a poor behavior towards the job candidate by treating them distinctly due to their stereotypes, not having enough masculinity or femininity, asking for sexual favors, verbal, physical and sexual harassment, sex, gender or if the job candidate associates with with a of a certain sex category. According to the article that I have read named “Betty Dukes, Greeter Whose Walmart Lawsuit Went to Supreme Court dies at 67” by Michael Corkery, it talks about a woman with the name of Betty Dukes which implicated that Walmart, the company she worked for was a place of systematic gender discrimination. Although Dukes filed the lawsuit in 2001, she still worked in this company as a greeter until her retirement in 2016. Walmart violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by paying more and giving more promotions to male workers than females. Although this case drew the attention of low-paid workers to other big companies, Walmart stores v. Dukes was a motion to dismiss (Betty Dukes, Greeter Whose Walmart Lawsuit Went to Supreme Court Dies at 67, Michael Corkery).

In a rare case two african american men named Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson decided not to follow an accusation for race discrimination against Starbucks and the city of Philadelphia after being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for no reason at all. According to this source Nelson and Robinson had a business meeting at a Starbucks, when Nelson asked to use the restroom the manager refused. As he was walking back to his table the manager called the police claiming that they were refusing to make a purchase or leave. The two men were arrested by the police, and charges were dropped due to the fact that they “did absolutely nothing wrong” (Two black men arrested at Starbucks settle with Philadelphia for $1 each, Rachel Siegel). The incident lead to a payment of $1 each and a fund from the city of $200,000 for a entrepreneur program for high school students. Not only the city felt terrible for this mistake but also Starbucks helped Robinson an Nelson to complete their higher education.

In the other hand, this same company had a class action lawsuit for violation of wage and hour laws by their own employee named Douglas Troester. Troester claimed that he should have been getting paid at least 4 to 10 minutes more after clocking out for closing the store, locking the front door, and walking co-workers to their cars at night. The US district court thought that this case was absurd and rejected his lawsuit. Gender discrimination is also a very prevalent issue to today’s time. A transgender woman named Maddie Wade sued Starbucks for harassment and gender discrimination after she started to transition from male to female. She claimed that her manager reduced her hours due to revealing her plans to start a hormone therapy and facial feminization surgery, yet the manager named Dustin Guthrie was against it and insulted her by sharing his “hostility” towards transgenders on his social media.

Maddie Wade claimed that she lost her job and health insurance, which affected her from fully transitioning. She claimed unlimited damages from Starbucks, general damage, special damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees (Transgender woman sues Starbucks for harassment, discrimination during Fresno tenure, Briana Calix).

Not only Walmart and Starbucks have lawsuits against them, but Abercrombie & Fitch which is a casual wear clothing store known for its highly criticized sexualised ad campaigns, has class action lawsuits for employment and race discrimination, violation of wage and hour laws and discrimination against gender especially woman. According to the lawsuit Gonzales v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores was field by nine adults of color who believed they got rejected from the job based on their race in June of 2003. This company proceeded to discriminate against Asian American, African American and Latino employees and applicants (Abercrombie & Fitch Employment Discrimination, LDF). This lawsuit basically declared to award the plaintiffs and class member monetary damages and back pay.

Also it declared that this company should end the rejection to hire applicants with excellent qualifications due to their race. After adding law firms for co-counsel to represent the plaintiffs, the company settled to pay $40 million dollars for all of the employees and applicants that were discriminated by the company. Also, this settlement required Abercrombie to promote more diversity in the workforce to prevent discrimination. Race discrimination is not the only problem this company has, but also Abercrombie & Fitch failed to provide rest breaks for employees. Jessica A. v. Abercrombie & Fitch lawsuit claimed that the company violated California employment laws due to failing to provide its employees with breaks ( Abercrombie $2M Wage and Hour Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval, Tamara Burns).

Since it violated California employment laws the settlement was of $2 million dollars. Although, in these days you would think that the clothing industry has been more diverse with race, religion, shape, and size for women, that is not what the Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries thinks. According to Jeffries he says ‘A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.’ To a lot of people these words can be very harmful and rude, and with such a big company you would of thought that the CEO would be anti discrimination, but that is not the case.

In conclusion, companies such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Abercrombie have a big amount of class action lawsuits for violation of race discrimination, gender discrimination and wage and hour laws. After their major lawsuits big companies like these have said that they have changed their own policy against discrimination of any kind but that is not very accurate. Until this day, I see a lot of racism in public places due to racist customers or even coworkers. Also, I have personally experienced violation towards my own wage and hour law at work due to not being educated enough in the past. Unfortunately, I have also seen gender discrimination towards transgenders at my own job due to other people’s beliefs. In my opinion I believe that everyone should be treated with equality no matter their race and gender.

Class Action Lawsuits Racial Discrimination Essay essay

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