Merrillville, Ind., Store Denied Jobs to White Applicants on a Systemic Basis, Federal Agency Charged
INDIANAPOLIS – Dots, Inc., a national women’s off-priced clothing retailer, will pay $246,500 and furnish other relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Dots’ Merrillville, Ind., clothing store denied jobs on a systemic basis to white applicants since at least April 1, 2007. During that time, the EEOC contended, Dots regularly hired black entry-level applicants for sales positions, but excluded white applicants who were equally or better qualified.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit provides that the settlement proceeds will be distributed to 32 class members. The decree also requires Dots to notify class members of open sales positions for a period of 18 months and to offer them interviews if they are still interested in employment with the company. Dots agreed to cease any further discrimination against white applicants and not to retaliate against applicants or employees who exercise their rights to complain about discrimination or assist in an investigation or discrimination-related proceeding. Dots will post a notice of non-discrimination at each of its facilities in Indiana and Illinois under its District 11 and train its managers and employees involved in the hiring process. Dots will also report on all hiring at its Merrillville location for a three-year period and will submit reports to EEOC detailing its compliance with the decree.
“We hope that this is a wake-up call for Dots and other employers who believe that they are in compliance with the law if they hire minority applicants while excluding white applicants,” said EEOC Indianapolis Regional Attorney Laurie A. Young.
According to company information, Glenwillow, Ohio-based Dots has more than 400 stores in 28 states.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov .
The EEOC’s Indianapolis Office is located at 101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 1900, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The EEOC’s Louisville Office is located at 600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Suite 268, Louisville, KY 40202. The EEOC’s Cincinnati Office is located at 550 Main Street, Suite 10019, Cincinnati, OH 45202, and the EEOC’s Detroit Office is located at 477 Michigan Avenue, Room 865, Detroit, MI 48226. The EEOC’s toll-free telephone number is (800) 669-4000, TTY: (317) 226-5162.