Press Release 12-03-2019

DSW Shoe Warehouse to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC  Race Discrimination Lawsuit

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

CLEVELAND- DSW Shoe Warehouse Inc., a nationwide shoe retailer headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, will pay $40,000 and furnish equitable relief throughout the stores in its Midwest Great Lakes Region (including Michigan and Ohio) to resolve a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC alleged that DSW intentionally discriminated against a former assistant manager at the company's Warrensville Heights, Ohio retail store because she was black. The employee was terminated after she had been subjected to race-based discipline and unequal terms and conditions of employment.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. DSW Shoe Warehouse, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-01122) on Sept. 26, 2018, 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 suit was resolved with an 18-month consent decree entered by Judge Sarah D. Morrison on November 27, 2019.  In addition to the $40,000 in monetary relief to the former assistant manager, the decree enjoins DSW from any future discrimination on the basis of race and from unlawful retaliation.  DSW will provide training on federal laws and store policies prohibiting discrimination and retaliation to supervisors, management, and human resources personnel working in the Region. DSW will report to the EEOC regarding any internal complaints of alleged race discrimination or retaliation and will post a notice regarding the settlement throughout the Midwest Great Lakes Region. 

"Race discrimination in employment is illegal under Title VII and has no business in the workplace." said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney for EEOC's Philadelphia District Office.

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

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