U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Women's Clothing Store Refused to Hire White Applicants at Its Merrillville Store, Federal Agency Charged
INDIANAPOLIS – A national women’s off-priced clothing retailer has denied employment to white applicants at its Merrillville, Ind., store since at least April 1, 2007, according to a lawsuit filed on August 6, 2010 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the EEOC, applicant Misti Hatchett was told by the store manager that the store “doesn’t hire white people.” The EEOC is suing on behalf of Hatchett and a class of discrimination victims that includes qualified white applicants who have applied at Dots’ Merrillville location since at least April 1, 2007.
Making employment decisions based on race violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:10-cv-00319-JVB-APR) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages against Dots, as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future hiring discrimination.
“Employers cannot choose employees based on the color of their skin, and this blatant race discrimination by Dots clearly violated federal law,” said Laurie A. Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.
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. Further information about this lawsuit can be obtained by calling the EEOC at (800) 669-4000.