Kaiser to pay $11.5M to settle racial discrimination class-action suit

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Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused it of discriminating against employees based on race, the company said April 22.

The settlement was reached after more than two years of negotiations and covers about 2,225 Black employees in administrative support and consulting services.

The lawsuit accused Kaiser Permanente of failing to provide the same career advancement opportunities for Black employees as other races and not having fair and equitable compensation for its Black employees.

In addition to the monetary relief, Kaiser agreed to retain an independent consultant to develop and manage a job analysis review to create additional equitable opportunities in the organization. In addition, Kaiser will conduct an annual pay review, invest in more leadership development initiatives for historically underrepresented groups and educate employees and management about racial bias and equity. 

"As a mission-driven organization — and a nationally recognized equity, inclusion and diversity leader — we hold ourselves accountable for living our values by strengthening our inclusive culture and expanding our work to address any disparities and their root causes," Kaiser Permanente told Becker's Hospital Review. "Across Kaiser Permanente we are increasing our efforts to advocate for fair and just treatment, opportunity and advancement as well as embedding accountability for equity at all levels of the organization. Kaiser Permanente will continue to promote positive change, equity and total health for all — inside our organization and within our communities."

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