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Kaiser Permanente To Pay $18.9 Million in Two Class Action Settlements

Current and former Kaiser Permanente employees brought two class-action lawsuits against the healthcare provider, claiming it discriminated against Black and Latino employees.

In the race discrimination suit, Black employees said the company denied them equal pay and promotions in claims extending back 15 years. The suit alleged Black employees earned less than white employees while performing the same work. The company purportedly did not promote Black workers who received the same performance evaluations as rising white workers. One plaintiff alleged she unsuccessfully applied for hundreds of positions at Kaiser. The workers will share the $7.6 million settlement with the four main plaintiffs, who each will receive up to $75,000 for bringing the case. Kaiser also agreed to hire an independent expert to analyze its pay practices. Should the expert learn that Black workers are underpaid, Kaiser agreed to adjust the compensation and provide back pay.

Latino/a workers brought their suit just last year on behalf of approximately 2,500 staff working in administrative support. Kaiser allegedly paid the Latino/a workers less than white workers and placed them disproportionately in lower-paying positions. That case settled for $7.4 million with the agreement to implement reforms similar to those agreed to in the race discrimination case.

In response to the settlement, Kaiser stated, “It is because of our commitment to equity and fairness that we have been especially saddened to learn that any employee would feel discriminated against at Kaiser Permanente.” The company stated it implemented a multi-year program to address bias, racism, and social injustice last year.