Press Release

Target Statement on Legal Settlement About the Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring Decisions

  • Apr 6, 2018

At Target, we have a number of measures in place to ensure we’re fair and equitable in our hiring practices. We’re an equal opportunity employer and hire team members in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. And in hiring, like the rest of our business, we hold diversity and inclusion as core values and strive to give everyone access to the same opportunities.

More than 10 years ago, like many major employers, Target began conducting regular criminal background checks as part of our hiring process to help ensure our stores were safe places to work and shop. As a result, there were claims that the approach may have unintentionally disqualified certain applicants, and that some applicants were disqualified because of convictions that weren’t related to the position for which they applied.

Since then, we’ve revised our hiring practices, removing the criminal history question from our employment application nationwide. Now, we gather criminal background information in the final stages of the hiring process. This ensures individuals are considered for employment based on their qualifications, interview and availability.

However, as part of our commitment to safety and security, we still believe it is important to consider an individual’s criminal conviction history as part of the overall hiring process. Individuals are given an opportunity to explain their criminal history and provide information about the circumstances, mitigating factors, good conduct and rehabilitation. We exclude applicants whose criminal histories could pose a risk to our guests, team members or property, and design our process to treat all applicants fairly while maintaining a safe and secure working and shopping environment for team members and guests.

We’re glad to resolve this and move forward. As part of the settlement, we’ll contribute to several organizations that help individuals with criminal backgrounds become successfully employed, continuing years of work by Target to help remove barriers that individuals with criminal records face when seeking employment.

About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,829 stores and at Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. For more information, visit For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.