In July, a Texas woman sued the online retail giant Amazon for its $10,000 grant aimed at certain minorities to help them become delivery service partners as part of the company's "commitment to diversity," with the lawsuit alleging that the grant was "unlawful racial discrimination."
In the lawsuit, obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, lawyers for plaintiff Crystal Bolduc, who is white, state that she had planned on applying to become an Amazon delivery service partner, however because of her race, she was ineligible for the $10,000 grant.
They argue that Bolduc is "suffering injury in fact because she cannot apply to become an Amazon delivery service partner without subjecting herself to racial discrimination," adding that she "will not apply to become an Amazon delivery service partner until Amazon eliminates this racially discriminatory policy, either by extending its $10,000 benefit to whites and Asians or curtailing or eliminating the benefit entirely."
Bolduc's lawyers base their case against Amazon around 42 U.S. Code § 1981, which guarantees equal rights under the law.
The grant in question was introduced by Amazon "to help reduce the barriers to entry for Black, Latinx, and Native American entrepreneurs" by "offering $10,000 for each qualified candidate to build their own businesses in the US"
"With the launch of this grant program," Amazon stated, "we're investing in building a future for diverse business owners to serve their communities."
Also mentioned in the lawsuit is a separate "Black Business Accelerator" program operated by Amazon to help "build sustainable diversity and provide growth opportunities for Black-owned businesses."
Under the program, a $500 credit is given "to assist with start-up and operational costs for eligible newly-launched sellers." Additional discounted or free services are given to help boost exposure.
Via her lawsuit, Bolduc is asking the court to declare that Amazon is in violation of federal law, and award her costs, attorneys' fees, and "all other relief that the Court deems just, proper, or equitable."
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