Employment Law

Bass Pro to Pay $10.5M for Discriminatory Hiring Practices and Retaliation

Earlier today, Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle a lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that alleged Bass Pro discriminated on the basis of race in its hiring and recruiting practices at its retail stores and then unlawfully retaliated against employees who opposed those practices.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC also claimed that the Springfield, Missouri-based fishing, camping, hunting equipment and apparel retailer failed to adhere to federal record-keeping laws and regulations.

According to an EEOC press release, in settling the lawsuit, Bass Pro agrees to seek to strengthen and improve its recruiting practices of African-Americans and Hispanics, and resolves a pattern-or-practice lawsuit filed by the EEOC on Sept. 21, 2011.

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Bass Pro also agreed to appoint a director of diversity and inclusion, make affirmative outreach efforts to increase diversity in its workforce, update EEO policies and hiring practices, and conduct annual EEO training for management and non-management employees.

“The EEOC is pleased to have reached what the agency believes to be a fair resolution,” said EEOC Deputy General Counsel James Lee in the press release. “We look forward to working with Bass Pro in implement­ing the consent decree.”