LITTLE ROCK, AK – On Jan. 22, 2009, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and attorneys representing the plaintiffs entered into an agreement to settle the claims asserted in a class action lawsuit entitled Daryal Nelson and Tommy Armstrong v. Wal-Mart, Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation LLC, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asserted that Wal-Mart had discriminated against African Americans on the basis of race in recruitment and hiring for the position of over-the road truck driver in Wal-Mart's private fleet. Wal-Mart denied that it engaged in any policy or pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination, or other unlawful conduct. The settlement is subject to approval by the court, and on Feb. 20, the attorneys for the plaintiffs submitted the formal settlement documents to the court with a request for approval.
Under the agreement, Wal-Mart and its insurance carrier will pay $17.5 million. Also, Wal-Mart's Logistics Division has agreed to provide priority job placements to 23 of the class members who submit approved claim forms, provide direct notice of all future job opportunities to all interested class members, establish benchmark hiring goals so that the composition of future hires, by race, is proportionate to the racial composition of the applicants, select a diversity recruiter and enhance its recruitment efforts and advertising targeted to African-Americans.