Dillard’s settles retaliation EEOC lawsuit for $70,000

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Department store chain Dillard’s, a Little Rock-based company, settled a lawsuit on Friday brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over allegations of retaliation, according to a news release.

The lawsuit stemmed from a February 2020 incident where a pregnant African American sales associate at a store in Alpharetta, Ga. told the new store manager about her pregnancy-related accommodation, the release said.

The manager rescinded the accommodation days later and transferred the employee to a different department, impacting her sales performance.

In March 2020, the employee said the transfer was discriminator based on her race and pregnancy.

Dillard’s did not address the complaint and the employee’s hours were reduced.

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When the chain started to recall employees back from a pandemic-related furlough in April 2020, the employee was told to not return to work. She was fired in August 2020.

The EEOC said the action violated the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits firing an employee for engaging in protected activity by reporting discrimination.

As part of the settlement, Dillard’s is set to pay the sales associate $70,000 in monetary damages, train employees on Title VII and retaliation, review employment policies, conduct employee discrimination surveys and allow the EEOC to monitor retaliation complaints.

“The EEOC is steadfast in its commitment to protect the right to speak up and speak out against unlawful discrimination or retaliation at work,” EEOC Atlanta District Office Director Darrell Graham said.

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