Last month, Best Buy came to an agreement to settle an employee discrimination lawsuit that was filed against it in late 2005.
In the suit, nine plaintiffs claimed the company was discriminatory against women, African American and Latino employees, denying them promotions that could have led to higher-paying jobs.
While Best Buy officials have denied the claims, they agreed to pay out up to $10.3 million to the plaintiffs and their attorneys. Under the settlement, Best Buy "agrees to changes to its personnel policies and procedures that will enhance the equal employment opportunities of the thousands of women, African Americans and Latinos employed by Best Buy nationwide." The settlement was approved by a U.S. District Court judge in California's Northern District.
The nine plaintiffs will split the total up to $290,000 per person, and in return, have dropped the individual claims they had against the company.
For companies of all sizes, the importance of following appropriate employment practices cannot be understated, as this lawsuit showcases. Companies that engage in practices perceived to be discriminatory can become entangled in expensive lawsuits regarding professional liability.