EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) – A federal judge signed off on a $24 million settlement alleging widespread racial bias at Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain. U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy gave final consent to a deal that will split $20 million between 10,000 past and present black Walgreens workers. Attorneys will split an additional $4.5 million.
Walgreens will retain outside consultants to review and make accommodations in its employment practices, including promotion and store assignment standards. Walgreens did not admit wrongdoing.
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission sued Walgreens last year, accusing the drug giant of racial bias in hiring and assignment decisions. The case was consolidated with a class action filed in 2005 on behalf of 14 black Walgreens workers. Walgreen’s has 230,000 workers in more than 6,000 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico.