Little Rock, Ark-based department store chain Dillard’s Inc. will pay $900,000, revise its job posting process, and furnish other relief to settle a federal lawsuit charging the company with failure to promote African American employees based on race.
The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges Dillard’s failed to post supervisory and management positions at its retail locations nationwide and failed to promote African American employees into those positions.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race. The EEOC filed suit on Sept. 29 (Civil Action No. 4:20-cv-01152) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process and after EEOC and Dillard’s reached an agreement on the terms of a consent decree after months of negotiations.
Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the suit, Dillard’s will provide $900,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to individuals denied promotions; develop and post written promotion policies for its stores nationwide; post supervisor and manager vacancies; provide anti-discrimination training; and dedicate an email address and telephone number for employees to address complaints based on failure to promote based on race.
The company will report any such complaints to the EEOC. Dillard’s will also reach out to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to recruit African American students into its Little Rock Buyer’s Program.
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