Latebreakers: Walgreens to pay $24 million to settle discrimination suite

July 23, 2007

The complaint cited several examples of discrimination, including allegations that African-American employees were passed over for promotions to management positions in spite of experience, seniority, and qualifications.

Walgreen Co. has reached a $24 million settlement with plaintiffs who brought a class-action lawsuit alleging that the chain engaged in systematic discrimination against African-American employees. Among the lead plaintiffs in the suit was Johnny Tucker, who has worked as a store manager in several Kansas City area Walgreens. The complaint cited several examples of discrimination, including allegations that African-American employees were passed over for promotions to management positions in spite of experience, seniority, and qualifications. Walgreens issued the following statement: "As a company with zero tolerance for discrimination against any employee, we were disappointed by this lawsuit and are glad to have it behind us. From the beginning, we have denied all allegations. Walgreens has a history of commitment to fairness, diversity, and equality.... Walgreen store and district managers who are African-American represent more than 17% of all company employees in those positions, compared with the industry average of 9%. And 15% of Walgreens staff pharmacists are African-American, compared with the industry average of 10%."