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OFCCP Sues B&H Foto Electronics Corp. for alleged discrimination

2016-03-04

OFCCP’s lawsuit alleges that B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. has systematically discriminated in its hiring, pay and promotion practices and also harassed Hispanic employees and female, Black and Asian job seekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse.

On its website, the popular photo, video, audio and digital imaging retailer claims to “employ an incredibly diverse group of people.”  During its compliance review, however, OFCCP found that, from January 2011 to January 2013:

  • B&H’s Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse exclusively hired Hispanic men into its entry-level laborer job group, contributing to the complete exclusion of female employees at the warehouse and the near exclusion of black and Asian employees at the facility.
  • B&H promoted and compensated its Hispanic workers at a significantly lower rate than comparable white workers, leading to lower pay, fewer opportunities to advance and a near-total exclusion of Hispanic workers from higher level clerical, managerial and supervisory positions. Hispanic employees were also subjected to racist remarks, degrading comments and harassment at the worksite.
In addition to its findings regarding hiring, compensation and promotion discrimination and harassment, OFCCP found that B&H’s Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse:
  • Failed to keep and preserve required personnel and employment records.
  • Relegated Hispanic warehouse workers to separate, unsanitary and often inoperable restrooms.
  • Failed to provide designated restroom or changing facilities for females.
Filed with the Office of Administrative Law Judges, the complaint asks the court to enjoin B&H permanently from discriminating against female, black and Asian individuals in hiring, and discriminating against Hispanic individuals in promotions and compensation; and to require B&H to ensure and maintain a working environment free of unlawful harassment, intimidation or coercion. OFCCP is also seeking complete relief for the affected class including lost wages, interest, front wages, salary adjustments, promotions and all other lost benefits of employment and a reform of discriminatory policies.

If B&H fails to provide relief as ordered, OFCCP requests that all its government contracts be canceled and that it be debarred from entering into future federal contracts.