Nordstrom Agrees to $300K Discrimination Suit Settlement

April 21, 2009 ( - Department store Nordstrom, Inc. will pay $292,500 to 10 former employees to settle a government discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

A news release from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), said its suit against Nordstrom charged that a store manager harassed Hispanic and black employees based on their national origin, race, and color, and retaliated against those who complained about the harassment.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, an alterations department manager complained that she “hate[d] Hispanics,” and that Hispanics were “lazy” and “ignorant,” according to the announcement. Hispanic tailors were chastised by the alterations manager for speaking to each other in Spanish. The same manager made other derogatory remarks such as “I don’t like blacks” and “you’re black, you stink.”

The alterations manager harassed the alterations staff at Nordstrom stores in Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington, Florida, according to the EEOC.

The suit charged that after the employees complained to Nordstrom about the harassment, the alteration’s manager retaliated against those who complained by continuing the racially offensive comments, unfairly berating employees, and citing them for alleged performance problems.