Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) filed an administrative lawsuit against B&H Foto & Electronics Corporation (“B&H”), a major New York-based electronics retailer, alleging systematic discrimination against Hispanic, black, female, and Asian employees.
Following a two-year compliance review, OFCCP’s complaint accuses B&H of (1) exclusively hiring Hispanic men into its entry-level laborer job group (at the expense of female, black, and Asian applicants); (2) promoting and compensating Hispanic workers at a significantly lower rate than their Caucasian peers; and (3) subjecting Hispanic employees to “racist remarks, degrading comments and harassment.” The complaint also alleges that B&H failed to provide designated changing rooms for women, forced Hispanic workers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse to use separate and filthy restrooms, and failed to keep and preserve required personnel and employment records.
OFCCP’s lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction, lost wages, front pay wages, salary adjustments, promotions and other employment benefits for affected employees and former employees. In addition, if B&H fails to provide relief as ordered, OFCCP requests that all its federal government contracts be canceled and that it be debarred from entering into future federal contracts. B&H stands to lose more than $46 million worth of federal contracts with federal agencies, including the FBI and General Services Administration.
OFCCP’s news release about the lawsuit is located here.