EEOC Intervenes in Home Depot Suit

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Reuters

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Mar 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/25/97
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<I><A HREF='http://www.clari.net/'>ClariNet</A> <CLARI-ITEM TYPE>story</CLARI-ITEM> <B><CLARI-ITEM SLUGWORD>BUSINESS-HOMEDEPOT</CLARI-ITEM></B> from <CLARI-ITEM FROM>Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></I><BR>
<H1><CLARI-ITEM HEADLINE>EEOC Intervenes in Home Depot Suit</CLARI-ITEM></H1>
<I><B><CLARI-ITEM COPYRIGHT>Copyright 1997 by Reuters</CLARI-ITEM></B></I> / <I><CLARI-ITEM DATE>Tue, 25 Mar 1997 3:54:07 PST</CLARI-ITEM></I><P>
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<P> NEW YORK (Reuter) - The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission has moved to intervene in a private sex
discrimination suit filed against do-it-yourself retailing giant
Home Depot Inc.</P>
<P> The suit, which was filed in 1995 in U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Louisiana, focuses on 310 stores east of
the Mississippi. The EEOC said Monday this was the largest
private sex discrimination case in which it has sought to
intervene.</P>
<P> The EEOC alleges that women were hired only at low level
positions with no opportunities for advancement.</P>
<P> Atlanta-based Home Depot said it will oppose the EEOC's
intervention, adding that the agency only heard one side of the
story before deciding to intervene.</P>
<P> ``The Home Depot will vigorously oppose intervention, and is
confident that it can demonstrate that intervention is not only
futile, but a waste of government resources,'' Larry Smith, Home
Depot's vice president for legal affairs, said in a statement.</P>
<P> Home Depot said it was proud of its record of hiring and
promoting women to every level in the company.</P>
<P> C. Gregory Stewart, general counsel of the EEOC, alleged
that ``while Home Depot has a glass ceiling, Home Depot traps
its female employees into what amounts to a glass basement with
glass walls.''</P>
<P> He charged that women were hired for jobs such as cashier
but were not hired or considered for promotion for other
positions, such as sales or managerial positions.</P>
<P> He said the suit was one of three pending against Home
Depot, whose roughly 50 stores sell building materials and home
improvement products in the United States and Canada. Stewart
said the EEOC would assist the private lawyers in every aspect
of litigation in the Louisiana case.</P>
<P> Home Depot's stock rose 37.5 cents to $57.875 on the New
York Stock Exchange.</P>
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