On Monday, B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. entered into a consent decree to resolve allegations of systemic hiring, compensation and promotion discrimination. The agreement will resolve allegations of harassment at the company’s Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse. The decree settles allegations that the company discriminated against certain job seekers by only hiring Hispanic men for entry-level positions.
It was also alleged that the company paid Hispanic shipping workers significantly less than other workers. Hispanic shipping workers were often denied promotions for higher level positions. According to the allegations, Hispanic workers with B&H Foto were frequently subjected to harassment and also had unequal access to restrooms. When presented with complaints from employees, it is alleged that the company failed to rectify the problem.
Regional Solicitor of Labor, Jeffrey S. Rogoff, made a statement about the decree. “Federal contractors who benefit from taxpayers’ dollars are required to treat their employees fairly, or risk losing their government contracts. 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, B&H Foto will be required to pay $3,220,000 in back wages. The Manhattan photo, video, audio, and digital imaging retailer will also provide monetary relief to more than 1,300 impacted class members. B&H has also agreed to hire a workplace consultant at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse and its future warehouse in Florence, New Jersey. The company’s managers will now receive annual training to help prevent workplace harassment and ensure equal opportunity principles.