As the largest non-chain store in the United States for photo and video equipment and electronics, B&H Photo in New York City is well known by New Yorkers. The store is under fire, however, following a recent discrimination lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP. According to the lawsuit, B&H Foto & Electronics, Corp., “systematically discriminated” against Hispanic employees and female, black and Asian job seekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard Warehouse.
In addition, the lawsuit also stated that Hispanic workers experienced racist and degrading remarks. They were also paid at lower rates than white workers. At the warehouse, the lawsuit claims that B&H “relegated Hispanic warehouse workers to separate, unsanitary and often inoperable restrooms,” and did not offer changing facilities or restrooms for women. They also did not preserve or maintain personnel and employment records.
This is not the first time that B&H Photo has been involved in a labor dispute. A previous settlement by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission awarded $4.3 million dollars to 149 Hispanic workers who were underpaid and denied benefits and promotions due to their race.
In this lawsuit, OFCCP is seeking lost benefits of employment, as well as wages and promotions for the affected workers. Businesses, both large and small, may be guilty of discrimination. Whether it is sex discrimination, age discrimination, religious or race discrimination, it is illegal, and there are organizations and laws to protect workers. But, unless a discriminated worker reaches out to address his or her concern, the issue may never be properly acknowledged or addressed.
Source: CBS News, “Feds sue popular NYC electronics store for discrimination,” Feb. 27, 2016