Target Corporation v. Artiello, et al., are on appeal. In 2021, I wrote an article on the suit and it reached the point of being published on this site; the purpose of that article was to raise awareness of the situation and to draw public attention to it. This suit was brought against the owner of the Target Corporation by the parent company, Gay & Lesbian Consumer Group (herein referred to as Target). The complaint in that case alleged that the defendant, Artiello, discriminated against members of the Gay community in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. I will address the complaint against Artiello in this article, however, the underlying issues are applicable to all cases brought against corporations.
At first, it was hard to locate anything on it at all, until I was reading an article in the Spring 2021 issue of Colorado Business magazine, which (as is evident from the article’s title) was about the new lawsuit. According to the article, this suit was brought against the owners of Target Corporation, which owns and controls Target, a chain of supercenters, and a second business, Nevada Corporation, which owns and controls a number of banks. Among the claims in the complaint are that the defendants (the target corporation and the second defendant, a Nevada Corporation) failed to provide jobs for members of the Gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities, failed to hire employees in a timely fashion, and otherwise discriminated against members of the Gay community in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal statutes. The defendants also argue that they have a valid business reason to deny employment to persons who belong to the Gay community. The Third Circuit of Appeals, in an opinion authored by Associate Judge Carol Ginsberg, affirmed the validity of the complaint and dismissed the claim on one basis: the complaint failed to state a claim against the defendants that could be brought against the lending corporation itself, and therefore, the claim against the corporation trumped the loan guarantee from Target Corporation itself.
In pertinent circumstances, we believe the case was not properly filed under the appropriate chapter although there are cases in which that was possible. In this particular case, the complaint specifically mentioned that Target Corporation or a defendant was the lender for the loan which was used to purchase the property at issue, and therefore Target Corporation could be held responsible if its conduct violated the Constitution. Although the holding in the third circuit might well have been correct in view of our precedent that has construed the relevant provisions of the Constitution to avoid double taxation, we believe the holding in the third circuit’s decision was incorrect inasmuch as it attempted to extend the rationale of the Majority opinion in Mayo v. Illinois, supra, regarding double taxation of the raising of corporate taxes in the second tax year to the operation of the corporation’s lending activities.