Pepsi to Pay $3.13 Million for Hiring Discrimination Against Black Workers

An investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the company's former criminal background check policy violated the civil rights of hundreds of black workers.

By Jamilah King Jan 11, 2012

Big changes are in order at Pepsi Beverages after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that hundreds of black workers were unfairly impacted by the company’s use of criminal background checks:

Here’s what happened, according to a press release:

The EEOC’s investigation revealed that more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment.  Under Pepsi’s former policy, job applicants who had been arrested were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense.

The investigation found that the criminal background check policy used by Pepsi was in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition to the multimillion dollar payout, the company has also agreed to jobs offers and training.