By Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago area chain of sportswear stores has agreed to pay $420,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit that alleged the company refused to hire more Blacks and Hispanics and promote those who already worked there.

In its 2017 lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that City Sports gave preferential treatment to Korean candidates and subjected two Black employees to racial slurs and other harassment. The lawsuit covers City Sports stores in Chicago and its stores in the suburbs of Bolingbrook, North Riverside, Harvey and Crest Hill.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Palm USA, which does business as City Sports, denies the allegations but told reporters in a written notice that it decided to settle to avoid more legal costs.

Besides paying the money to 19 current and former employees, the company has agreed to hire a human resources consultant to help make sure race, ethnicity and national origin are not considered in hiring decisions. The settlement also calls for the company to provide all employees anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training.

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