way to force companies to address their diversity issues. “Other corporations tend to take note of lawsuits involving their competitors and begin addressing those issues as well,” says Smith, whose clients have included MetLife, Nike, Hyatt Hotels, Lockheed Martin, L’Oreal, and PepsiCo. “Ivy has been fortunate to have clients that have been proactive, versus responding to a lawsuit,” Smith adds.
Demchak says there have already been notable changes at Walgreens since the suit was filed. “Changes to Walgreens’ employment practices that it has agreed to undertake are laudable and will benefit all current and former Walgreens retail store and pharmacy management employees, regardless of race,” she says.
The plaintiffs themselves have also reported that Walgreens has demonstrated its commitment to implementing the terms of the settlement. “I am hopeful that cases such as this are a strong wake-up call to those companies in this country who do not take the fair employment laws seriously or believe that they apply to them,” Demchak adds.