Retailer at Brooklyn Navy Yard Hit With Multi-Count Discrimination Lawsuit by DOL’s OFCCP

A retailer that operates at the Brooklyn Naval Yard has hit the trifecta, accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of discriminating against Hispanic employees and female, black and Asian jobseekers.

The accused is B&H Foto & Electronics Corp., a photo, video, audio and digital imaging retailer headquartered in Manhattan, The company has supply contracts with the General Services Administration and the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation valued in excess of $46 million.

The bill of particulars against the company is a long one as detailed in a lawsuit filed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the DOL unit that enforces discrimination requirements against federal contractors.

According to the lawsuit, B&H Foto committed these violations of nondiscrimination rules during 2011-2013.

  • 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.

In addition to its findings regarding hiring, compensation and promotion discrimination and harassment, OFCCP found 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.

For more on the lawsuit, click here.


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