$250,000 Settlement in National Origin Discrimination Case, Training Ordered

 
Monday, April 22, 2013
 

Question:  Would national origin discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

Mitsuwa Corporation, which does business as Mitsuwa Marketplace, a large Japanese market in Edgewater, N.J., will pay $250,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC's suit, since 2005, Mitsuwa has routinely paid Hispanic employees less than non-Hispanics doing the same work because of their national origin. The case stemmed from a discrimination charge from an individual employee who complained of being underpaid because he was Hispanic. An investigation by the EEOC revealed that a class of Hispanic employees was discriminated against in this way over several years.

Discrimination in compensation based on employees' national origin violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark (Civil Action No. 09-CV-04733 [ES][CLW]) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, signed by federal Judge Esther Salas, Mitsuwa will also give pay increases to current Hispanic employees amounting to a combined total of approximately $30,000 per year for three years.

Mitsuwa is enjoined from discriminating against Hispanic employees. The consent decree provides for a monitor who will periodically review Mitsuwa's compensation practices and discrimination complaints, and will report to EEOC. Mitsuwa has also revised its anti-discrimination policies and will train its managers and employees on Title VII, including the prohibition against compensation discrimination based on national origin.

Eliminating discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under equal employment laws, or who may be reluctant or unable to exercise their rights, is a national priority identified in EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan. These policies can include disparate pay.

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