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PepsiCo settles charges of racial bias in hiring practices

Company’s background checks excluded more than 300 black applicants

PepsiCo Inc. has agreed to pay $3.13 million to settle federal charges that its hiring practice of using criminal background checks discriminated against black applicants.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which first brought the issue to PepsiCo’s attention in 2006, the practice of screening out applicants who were arrested of crimes but not convicted violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act says that denying employment based on criminal background may be illegal unless the crime is relevant to the job being sought.


Cathleen Flahardy

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