Outdoor retailer accused of racial discrimination

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HOUSTON (AP) — The federal government has sued retail chain Bass Pro Outdoor World, alleging racial discrimination in its hiring practices dating back to 2005.

The Equal Opportunity Commission, a federal agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston on Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that qualified African-Americans and Hispanics were routinely denied positions at Bass Pro stores and that managers of stores in Houston, Louisiana and other locations made derogatory racial comments acknowledging the practice.

The commission also alleges that Bass Pro destroyed documents related to applications and internal discrimination complaints and retaliated against those who spoke up.

A spokesman for Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops said the company had not yet reviewed the lawsuit and could not immediately comment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.