The popular retailer of fishing, camping and hunting equipment, Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, settled a lawsuit brought on by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC alleged the outdoor-goods retailer discriminated against minorities in its store hiring practices. A complaint was filed in September 2011. The case is EEOC v. Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC et al., case number 15-20078, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The underlying case is EEOC v. Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC et al., case number 4:11-cv-03425, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The EEOC’s suit specifically charged that the company discriminated in hiring at its retail stores, unlawfully retaliated against employees who opposed practices they believed to be unlawful and failed to adhere to federal record-keeping laws and regulations.
In addition to settling the case for $10.5 million, The agreement seeks to strengthen and improve Bass Pro’s hiring and recruiting practices of African-Americans and Hispanics, that resolves the pattern-or-practice lawsuit. The agreement focuses on strengthening Bass Pro’s diversity efforts and its commitment to nondiscriminatory hiring, including the appointment of a director of diversity and inclusion, affirmative outreach efforts to increase diversity in its workforce, updated EEO policies and hiring practices, and annual EEO training for management and non-management employees.
Additionally, as part of the settlement, and since the company also cited the pending $4.5 billion acquisition of Cabela’s Inc., it was of benefit to resolve this litigation as it will allow Bass Pro and Cabela’s to manage their respective human resources functions in a consistent manner.
“The EEOC is pleased to have reached what the agency believes to be a fair resolution,” said EEOC Deputy General Counsel James Lee. “We look forward to working with Bass Pro in implementing the consent decree.”