Monday, September 26, 2011
EEOC Files Suit Against Bass Pro for Failing to Hire Blacks and Hispanics
Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC (Bass Pro), a retailer of sporting goods, apparel, and other miscellaneous products, engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to hire African-American and Hispanic applicants for positions in its retail stores nationwide, and then retaliated against employees who opposed the discriminatory practices, according to the EEOC.
The EEOC’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (Civil Action No. 4:11-CV-3425), alleges that Bass Pro has been discriminating in its hiring since at least November 2005. The EEOC claims that qualified African-Americans and Hispanics were routinely denied retail positions such as cashier, sales associate, team leader, supervisor, manager and other positions at many Bass Pro stores nationwide. The lawsuit also alleges that managers at Bass Pro stores made overtly racially derogatory remarks acknowledging the discriminatory practices.
The lawsuit further claims that Bass Pro retaliated by punishing employees who opposed the company’s unlawful practices, in some instances firing them or forcing them to resign. The EEOC also accuses Bass Pro of unlawfully destroying or failing to keep records and documents related to employment applications and internal discrimination complaints.
The EEOC's lawsuit seeks (1) a permanent injunction prohibiting Bass Pro from engaging in race discrimination, national origin discrimination, retaliation, and improper record destruction; (2) back pay on behalf of victims of hiring discrimination and/or retaliation; (3) compensatory and punitive damages; (4) the implementation of fair recruitment and hiring procedures, and (5) the reinstatement or rightful-place hiring of mistreated job applicants and former employees.