Officials say lawsuit will not affect Bass Pro deal

(WMC-TV) - A lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims Bass Pro Shops discriminated against African American and Hispanic applicants in four states.

The lawsuit comes as Bass Pro Shops, billed as the world's greatest outdoor store, is preparing to take over the Pyramid Arena.

The lawsuit alleges qualified minorities were routinely denied positions at Bass Pro Shops.

"I've spoken to Bass Pro, I think we all know what the expectations are coming to Memphis," said Memphis Housing Director Robert Lipscomb.  "They did considerable research on what the demographics are.  They have to live by the law."

Lipscomb has spearheaded the city's push to attract Bass Pro Shops.  He said he is not bothered by the lawsuit.

"We've been negotiating with Bass Pro for more than six years," said Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery.  "The deal will close within the next three weeks.  We're going to have a groundbreaking.  We're looking forward to Bass Pro coming to our city."

Bass Pro denies the allegations in the lawsuit.

The EEOC is a federal law enforcement agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.