Bass Pro Outdoor World has settled a nationwide class action case in Houston, TX in a federal lawsuit. It will pay $10.5 million. A portion of these funds will provide “monetary relief” to those who say they were discriminated against while seeking jobs with the employer.
EEOC brought a class action case in 2011 that accused the Retailer of rejecting qualified black and Hispanic job applicants, and retaliating against employees who complained about it.
The EEOC analysis found that black employees were under represented in more than 95% of the stores; Hispanic more than 70%. It was complained that only white applicants fit the “Profile” for hire.
There are two stores in the Houston area who also agreed to establish a diversity office and find job candidates, participate in job fairs n minorities communities and recruiting at colleges with significant minority populations.
Per the agreement, the company maintains it did not engage in unlawful activities or retaliatory conduct and any agreement should not be construed as admission of liability. A portion of the payment may be devoted to programs that engage inner city youth in outdoor activities. The agreement would be in effect for 42 months.
If approved, the agreement would stop the investigation by the government into hiring practices which began 10 years ago when a white manager reported that she was fired when she complained to her boss about mistreatment of black job applicants and employees.
As employers review this settlement and the situations leading up to it, preventative tactics and awareness are clearly needed to be incorporated into the hiring and recruitment processes.
How can you avoid these issues? What lessons are learned?
- Train HR staff
- Train managers and supervisors
- Review policies and procedures for job related criteria and fairness
- Review salary negotiations, who negotiates, how, authority level
- Document basis of hiring decisions
For more information re: policies, audits or training, contact: