Sears, Roebuck & Co., one  of the nation’s largest retailers, will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief  to settle a race, sex and age discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by  the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency has announced. The EEOC charged that Sears had subjected an African-American female employee over the age of 40 to race, age and sex discrimination as well as retaliating against her for complaining about it.

In its lawsuit filed in September 2010, the EEOC charged that Mary Johnson, who worked in loss prevention at several Sears stores in the Oklahoma City area from 1982 until her termination in March 2010, was passed over for promotion to supervisor several times beginning in  2007 in favor of younger, less experienced, white males.

According to the agency, Sears retaliated against Johnson for her initial EEOC discrimination charge in September 2007 by subjecting her to worsening terms and conditions at work. Sears last passed over Johnson for promotion in early 2010, just prior to terminating her employment in March 2010 for complaining about its practices and participating in the EEOC's investigative process. Sears denies that it discriminated against Johnson.

Race, sex and age discrimination and retaliation violate the Age Discrimination in Employment  Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court  for the Western District of Oklahoma (EEOC  v. Sears Roebuck & Company, Case No. 5:10-cv-01068-R) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the  $100,000 payment, Sears has agreed to take specified actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including the posting of anti-discrimination notices to  employees, dissemination of its anti-discrimination policy and providing anti-discrimination training to employees. The settlement terms are set forth in a consent decree filed with the court.

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