B&H Photo & Electronics treats it minority warehouse workers unfairly including forcing its Hispanic warehouse employees to use a separate “unsanitary” bathroom according to a US Labor Department lawsuit filed Thursday.
The destination store, a fixture in New York for the past 30 years, is also accused of not providing female employees at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse a separate restroom or changing facility and discriminating against black and Asian job-seekers.
Earlier this month, the retailer was fined $32,000 after it was found that it lacked guardrails on raised platforms at the warehouse.
In 2007, the national retail chain paid $4.3 million to settle a separate discrimination case.
Henry Posner, a spokesman for B&H, declined to comment about the Labor Department action other than to say they are “unresolved issues.”
Labor has been investigating conditions at the warehouse since 2013, when B&H, a federal contractor, underwent a routine inspection.
The investigation was completed in 2014, but the agency was unable to reach a settlement or get B&H to agree to corrective actions, said a Labor spokesman.
The investigation found preliminarily that at least 57 of 170 Hispanic workers earned significantly less than their white counterparts, and 201 Hispanic employees were relegated to lower status and lower-paying jobs when compared with their white counterparts who were promoted.
More than 2,500 women were not hired because of their gender, and 6,180 blacks and 750 Asians were not hired because of their race, the government alleges.