U.S. Census Bureau Will Dish Out $15M to Black and Latino Workers Rejected From Racist Screening Process
A class action suit filed in 2010 claimed that the U.S Census rejected 450,000 Black and Latino job applicants because of a racist screening process. And the suit has now been settled with a $15 million pay check.
In 2010, the Census Bureau flagged Black and Latino job seekers looking for temporary jobs. Many of the 450,000 applicants were denied employment because of old minor offenses, the New York Daily News reports.
They were flagged by the FBI, and many of the applicants could not explain their records in the allotted 30-day time frame.
So the U.S Census Bureau disqualified them all together.
As of April 19, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, entered into the landmark class-action settlement with Black and Latino plaintiffs.
The lawsuit filed on April 13, 2010 claims that the Census Bureau’s flawed screening process and inaccurate and incomplete FBI arrest and convictions database is to blame. Many of the people denied jobs could have been fully qualified for the jobs available if the system worked more effectively.
Lead attorney Adam Klein said in a statement:
“This settlement will require the Census Bureau to replace its arbitrary and racially discriminatory use of criminal records and develop a rational job-related method to determine whether an applicant has a criminal history which justifies his or her rejection from these essentially entry level jobs.”
According to the class-action lawsuit by attorneys at Outten & Golden LLP:
“During six years of hard-fought litigation, the plaintiffs asserted that the Census Bureau’s flawed procedures violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because of their substantial adverse impact on African Americans and Latinos who were arrested at much higher rates than whites, often for the same crimes, such as minor drug possession and use.”
The $15 million will be used to repair the screening process ahead of the 2020 census and will pay for any legal fees that have gone unpaid, according to Think Progress.
The lawsuit also states that there will be two industrial/organizational psychologists brought in to better the screening process.