March 10, 2007
Fourteen current and former Walgreens employees from Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Indiana and Michigan have filed a nationwide race discrimination class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Walgreen Company in Tucker et al. v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 05-CV-440-GPM.
The class action suit charges that Walgreens discriminates against its black employees in hiring, promotions, compensation and store assignments in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. § 1981.
The lawsuit claims in part that Walgreens steers its black employees to work at stores located in areas that have predominantly black customers and/or lower income customers. Walgreens uses an internal store classification system of "peer groups" that categorizes stores based on race and income. The class action plaintiffs claim that black employees are systematically denied advancement opportunities because Walgreens steers them to the minority/lower income peer group stores. Earning opportunities and work conditions are materially worse in the stores where the black management employees are steered and segregated.
Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, reported sales in excess of $42.2 billion in 2005. The company operates more than 5,156 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.
“Every worker should have equal rights in the workplace. It is disappointing that a company as large as Walgreens continues to allow such racially biased practices to exist.” said plaintiffs’counsel, Tiffany Klosener of Foland Wickens Eisfelder Roper & Hofer.
"What is so stunning is that in 2005 black employees are not only suffering discrimination in seeking to advance their careers at Walgreens, but are facing segregation. The segregation is a throwback to a time that most of us thought was gone from American life.” added Kent Spriggs of Spriggs Law Firm in Tallahassee, Florida, co-counsel for the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs are represented by the law firms of Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer, P.C. (Kansas City), Spriggs Law Firm (Tallahassee) and Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian (Oakland).
Mr. Spriggs, one of the most experienced class action attorneys in the country, authored the two-volume text Representing Plaintiffs in Title VII Actions.
A toll free number (1-877-397-2529) has been set up to learn more about the case.