The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against retailer Bass Pro Shops for intentionally prohibiting Hispanic and African-American applicants from working for the company. The Missouri-based hunting and fishing supplier is additionally cited for using racial slurs throughout its numerous store locations.
Stores in Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana and Texas have been reported for overlapping instances of racial discrimination, which include derogatory references to Hispanics and African-Americans. The lawsuit quotes an Indiana store manager as using a racial term for African-American and saying that they “steal and don’t make good employees,” and “Hispanics should be shot at the border by Border Patrol.”
The company criticized the charges, saying they include stereotypical depictions of outdoor sports patrons as characteristically discriminatory people.
Racial discrimination charges such as these typically end in settlement, according to Reuters, but the company told Reuters they will pursue a lawsuit because the EEOC conducted an improper investigation and offered his company “unrealistic demands.”
The EEOC will ask that damages be paid to the applicants if the shops are found guilty, and will prohibit the company from conducting racially-based hiring in the future.