Judge Tosses Bias Claim Against Bass Pro Inc.

     HOUSTON (CN) – A federal judge tossed the EEOC’s claim that Bass Pro Outdoor World turns away black and Hispanic job applicants and retaliates against employees that complain of discrimination.
     The EEOC sued the retailer in federal court in September 2011. It later added Bass Pro Inc. and Tracker Marine as defendants.
     U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison found the EEOC fell short of stating a claim for a pattern or practice of discrimination. Ellison dismissed the claim, as well as the claim concerning retaliation, on Thursday.
     The EEOC describes four examples of discrimination against black applicants and two examples directed at Hispanics.
     “Of course, the EEOC is not burdened with the requirement of demonstrating that their claims are probable,” Ellison wrote. “Yet, this handful of racist incidents, however disturbing, fails even to render the EEOC’s allegations of a company-wide pattern or practice plausible. The EEOC’s amended complaint merely offers conclusory allegations and unwarranted deductions.”
     The defendants argued that the commission could not make claims that fall outside the 300-day limitation period required by sections 706 and 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
     “As the 300-day period applies to all of the EEOC’s claims, any claims for discrete violations occurring outside of that period – including a pattern or practice of failure to hire – must be dismissed,” Ellison ordered.
     But Ellison refused to nix the EEOC’s claim that the retailer destroyed records pertaining to its case. The judge gave the EEOC 21 days to file a second-amended complaint.

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