Residents of California who have shopped at Big 5 might be interested to know that the sporting goods company has had a lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit claims that an African-American employee suffered discrimination at the hands of the manager and other coworkers while he was training to become a manager himself at the establishment.

After the trainee was faced with the first racial comments, he reported them to higher management. In fact, he reported events of race discrimination to members of higher management multiple times. Nonetheless, the sports products establishment did not take any steps to address these issues.

Aside from racial comments and threats, the employee also dealt with retaliation for reporting the comments to upper administration. The employee was denied breaks, and he was given more work than other trainees. He was also disciplined without cause. In its case, the EEOC is citing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws harassment and threats that are racially charged. The EEOC is seeking financial compensation for the managerial trainee as well as a court order for the company to remedy these kinds of problems when they occur.

When employees suffer discrimination in the workplace due to race, gender, religion, disability or country of origin, they might not know how to respond. A good first step is to contact a workplace discrimination attorney. A lawyer who focuses on harassment and employee rights might be able to look at an employee’s case. Lawyers might be able to help clients by helping them build a case against the employer and filing a lawsuit.