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FedEx racial bias settlement finalized


SAN FRANCISCO--A federal judge has given final approval to the approximately $55 million settlement of a class action racial discrimination lawsuit against a unit of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp., according to the company.

The suit against FedEx Express was filed on behalf of 23,000 Hispanic and African-American employees in the company's western region, which covers all or parts of 14 states.

The plaintiffs had charged that implementation of FedEx's human resources policies was "rife with stereotyping and racial bias," according to the court papers.

Under terms of the settlement, which was given preliminary approval in April and final approval on Tuesday, FedEx Express agreed to pay approximately $55 million, which includes compensating the class members, administrative costs and $15 million in attorney fees, the company said.

FedEx Express also agreed to eliminate its Basic Skills Test covering abilities such as reading, sorting and listening. Discontinuing the test "removes the perception by some that this test was a barrier to advancement for minority employees," FedEx said in a statement.

Plaintiffs attorney James Finberg, a partner with San Francisco-based Altshuler Berzon L.L.P., said in April that FedEx is insured by a unit of Hamilton, Bermuda-based XL Capital Ltd.