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Press Release 03-22-2024

Dillard’s Pays $70,000 in EEOC Lawsuit for Retaliation

Settles Federal Charges Department Store Fired High-Performing African American Employee Because of Discrimination Complaint

ATLANTA – Dillard’s, Inc., a national department store chain based in Little Rock, Arkansas, will pay $70,000 and furnish other relief to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) retaliation lawsuit, the federal agency announced today.

According to the lawsuit, in February 2020, a longtime, high-performing African American sales associate in Dillard’s Northpoint Store informed the new store manager about her existing pregnancy-related accommodation. Days later, the new manager rescinded the accommodation and the employee was punitively transferred to another department where she would struggle to maintain her sales numbers. In March 2020, the employee complained that the transfer was discriminatory based on her race and pregnancy.

Dillard’s did not address the complaint. Instead, the employee’s hours were reduced. When Dillard’s began to recall employees back from a COVID-19 pandemic-related furlough in April 2020, the sales associate was not asked to return to work. In August 2020, the sales associate was fired.    

Such alleged conduct violated the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits firing an employee because they engage in protected activity by complaining about discrimination. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Dillard’s, Inc., Case No. 1:23-CV-01943-MLB-RDC) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

Under the two-and-a-half-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit, Dillard’s will pay $70,000 in monetary damages to the sales associate; train its employees on Title VII and retaliation; review its employment policies; conduct employee surveys about discrimination; and allow the EEOC to monitor complaints of retaliation. 

“Federal law protects and preserves an employee’s right to speak out when they see or experience discrimination or retaliation,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC is pleased that the sales associate has been compensated and that Dillard’s has agreed to non-monetary relief to prevent future retaliation as well as monetary relief for the harmed employee.”

EEOC Atlanta District Office Director Darrell Graham said, “The EEOC is steadfast in its commitment to protect the right to speak up and speak out against unlawful discrimination or retaliation at work.”

For more information on retaliation, please visit

The EEOC’s Atlanta District Office has jurisdiction over Georgia and portions of South Carolina.

The EEOC prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.