A federal appeals court ruling in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s claims against the sporting goods company Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC could bolster the power of the agency to police and seek damages for alleged discriminatory hiring practices.

Bass Pro, represented by King & Spalding, lost its challenge Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. A three-judge panel, ruling unanimously, said the EEOC case in the Southern District of Texas can proceed.

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