Bass Pro Shops Chain Charged With Discrimination

By Joe Bennett

September 22, 2011 Updated Sep 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM CDT

The Bass Pro Shops retail chain has been charged with discriminatory labor practices coincidentally on the same day Bass Pro Shops opened in East Peoria.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges the company discriminates against African American and Latino applicants and retaliates against employees.

Employment discrimination attorney and Illinois President of the NAACP Don Jackson says in his experience, the EEOC rarely takes on a discrimination case unless it is solid.

"And quite frankly they're really only interested in what is called 'systemic discrimination," Jackson says. "That is discrimination that may impact a number of employees not only in one location but across the country."

Bass Pro's Vice President of Human Resources Mike Rowland says the company is fighting the suit.

According to a staement released by Rowland, "The EEOC's allegations are contrary to our profound respect for and commitment to our team of experienced and knowledgeable associates, and we are determined to prove them wrong."

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