Employment Law Daily OFCCP sues federal contractor B&H Foto alleging harassment and bias in hiring, pay, promotions
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

OFCCP sues federal contractor B&H Foto alleging harassment and bias in hiring, pay, promotions

Alleging that B&H Foto & Electronics Corp has systematically discriminated against Hispanic employees and female, black, and Asian jobseekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse, the OFCCP has filed an administrative suit against the photo, video, audio, and digital imaging retailer. Headquartered in Manhattan, B&H has supply contracts with the General Services Administration and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation valued in excess of $46 million, according an OFCCP statement issued on February 25, 2016. In its complaint, filed with the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (Perez v. B&H Foto & Electronics Corp., ALJ dkt no 2016-OFC-00004), the OFCCP asserts that during a compliance review, it 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.
The OFCCP also alleges 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.
“Federal contractors’ workforces should reflect the diversity of the American people, the people who are ultimately footing the bill for the goods and services that contractors provide to the government,” said OFCCP’s Director Patricia A. Shiu. “B&H fell far short of this responsibility and created deplorable working conditions for employees at its Brooklyn warehouse.”

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