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Press Release 09-27-2018

EEOC Sues DSW Shoe Warehouse For Race Discrimination

Nationwide Shoe Retailer Unfairly Disciplined and Terminated a Black Assistant Manager, Federal Agency Charges

CLEVELAND - DSW Shoe Warehouse Inc., a nationwide shoe retailer headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, violated federal law by intentionally subjecting a former assistant manager to racial discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on Sept. 26, 2018.

According to EEOC's suit, DSW discriminated against the former assistant manager at the company's Warrensville Heights, Ohio retail store due to race (black). The employee was subjected to unfair discipline and unequal terms and conditions of employment. Then in July 2016, the employee was unlawfully terminated. As a result of these practices, the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the lawsuit.

EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. DSW Shoe Warehouse, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-01122) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, in Columbus after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks monetary relief, including back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, for the former assistant manager. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to prevent future race discrimination, including an order for DSW to institute policies, practices and procedures that conform to the requirements of federal law.

"Title VII clearly and plainly makes race discrimination illegal," said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney for EEOC's Philadelphia District Office. "Subjecting an employee to disparate discipline, unequal terms and conditions of employment, and termination because of the employee's race are abhorrent employment practices that violate Title VII. We will continue to work to combat such practices."

The Philadelphia District Office of EEOC oversees Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. The legal staff of the Philadelphia District Office of EEOC also prosecutes discrimination cases from Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at