Press Release 10-09-2020

Dillard’s to Pay $900,000 to Resolve EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Company Failed to Promote African Americans, Federal Agency Charged

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Department store chain Dillard’s, Inc. will pay $900,000, revise itsjobposting process, and furnish other relief to settle an EEOC lawsuit charging failure to promote African American employees based on race, the federal agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Dillard’s, which is headquartered in Little Rock, failed to post supervisory and management positions at its retail locations nationwide and failed to promote African American employees into those positions.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrim­ination on the basis of race. The EEOC filed suit on Sept. 29 (Civil Action No. 4:20-cv-01152) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Central Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process and after EEOC and Dillard’s reached an agreement on the terms of a consent decree after months of negotiations. Following a hearing on Oct. 7, Judge Lee P. Rudofsky entered the consent decree on Oct. 8.

Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the suit, Dillard’s will provide $900,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to individuals denied promotions; develop and post written promotion policies for its stores nationwide; post supervisor and manager vacancies; provide anti-discrimination training; and dedicate an email address and telephone number for employees to address complaints based on failure to promote based on race. The company will report any such complaints to the EEOC. Dillard’s will also reach out to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to recruit African American students into its Little Rock Buyer’s Program.         

“We are pleased by the cooperativeness and willingnessof Dillard’s to revise itsjobposting processand hopethatthis will increase thenumberof qualified African Americans in management positions,” said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “We also commend Dillard’s forworkingwiththe agency to resolve this lawsuit.”

Delner Franklin-Thomas, the EEOC’s Memphis district director, added, “Failing to promote African Americans due to their race contravenes federal law. We believe this settlement establishes processes and procedures at Dillard’s to ensure that qualified Black employees are not excluded from promotional opportunities in the workplace.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.