CHICAGO — A federal judge ruled Monday that Sears, Roebuck & Co. did not discriminate against women in hiring, promotion or salary practices, ending nearly seven years of litigation over a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In a 163-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John Nordberg concluded that the federal commission "presented no evidence that Sears ever enforced any of the (discriminatory) policies."
"It is almost inconceivable," Nordberg wrote, "that in a nationwide suit alleging . . . intentional discrimination for at least eight years involving more than 900 stores, EEOC would be unable to produce even one witness who could credibly testify that Sears discriminated against her."
The EEOC alleged in a 1979 complaint that the Chicago-based retail giant had discriminated against women by excluding them from commission sales positions, that it had excluded them from non-commission sales positions and that it had paid women less than men for comparable management jobs.