$3,220,000 Settlement by Federal Contractor in Discrimination and Harassment Case

 
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
 
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has entered into a consent decree with B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. to resolve allegations of systemic hiring, compensation, and promotion discrimination, as well as harassment, at the company’s Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse.

The decree settles allegations that B&H Foto discriminated against female as well as black and Asian job seekers by hiring only Hispanic men for entry-level positions. In addition, there were allegations that Hispanic shipping workers were paid significantly less than comparable workers and denied promotion to higher level positions. There were also allegations that Hispanic workers were routinely subjected to harassing conduct and had unequal access to restroom facilities, and the company failed to take corrective action when confronted with employee complaints.

“Federal contractors who benefit from taxpayers’ dollars are required to treat their employees fairly, or risk losing their government contracts,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff. “We are pleased that B&H Foto entered into this agreement, and has committed to ensuring that their workers will receive equitable wages and opportunities, and enjoy a workplace that promotes equal employment opportunity.”

Under the terms of the decree, the Manhattan photo, video, audio, and digital imaging retailer has agreed to pay $3,220,000 in back wages and other monetary relief to more than 1,300 affected class members. B&H also agreed to hire a workplace consultant to help correct its employment practices and workplace conduct at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse, as well as its future warehouse in Florence, New Jersey. The company also agreed to provide its managers with annual training on equal opportunity principles and prevention of workplace harassment.

As a federal contractor, B&H Foto is prohibited by Executive Order 11246 from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin.
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