Sears to Pay $100K in Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

November 7, 2011 ( – Sears, Roebuck & Co. will pay $100,000 to settle a race, sex, and age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 
The EEOC had charged that Sears subjected an African-American female employee over the age of 40 to race, age, and sex discrimination, as well as retaliation for complaining about it.

In the lawsuit filed in September 2010, the EEOC charged that Mary Johnson, who had worked in loss prevention at several Sears stores in the Oklahoma City area from 1982 until her termination in March 2010, was passed over for promotion to supervisor several times beginning in 2007 in favor of younger, less experienced, white males.

According to the EEOC, Sears retaliated against Johnson for her original discrimination charge in September 2007 by subjecting her to worsening conditions at work. Sears last passed over Johnson for a promotion in 2010, just prior to terminating her employment in March 2010 for complaining about its practices and participating in the EEOC’s investigative process. Sears denies it discriminated against Johnson.

The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $100,000 payment, Sears agreed to take specified actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including the posting of anti-discrimination notices to employees, dissemination of its anti-discrimination policy, and providing anti-discrimination training to employees. The settlement terms are set forth in a consent decree filed with the court.

The case is EEOC v. Sears Roebuck & Company, No. 5:10-cv-01068-R)