Federal Lawsuit Alleges Employee Discrimination at B&H Photo & Electronics

By Sameer Rao Feb 26, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit yesterday (February 25) against noted New York City retailer B&H Photo & Electronics over numerous allegations of labor discrimination, including forcing Latino employees to use separate bathrooms. 

New York Daily News reports that the lawsuit alleges that B&H, whose Midtown Manhattan store is a destination for many tourists and photographers, allows unchecked anti-Latino harassment at its Brooklyn warehouses. The Department of Labor also says that B&H does not consider women, Black or Asian applicants for entry-level positions and that it was unable to confirm "a voluntary agreement from B&H to take corrective action."

B&H currently has $46 million in contracts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the General Services Administration—all of which could disappear permanantly if the retailer loses the case. A B&H spokesperson declined to comment. 

This is not the first time B&H has come under fire for unfair and discriminatory labor practices. The Daily News says that the retailer paid $4.3 million to a group of Latino warehouse employees in 2007. That settlement also required increased wages for Latino employees and federal surveillance. A group of female employees sued in 2009 for sexist wage discrimination. That suit was dropped and the lead plaintiff was fired. 

(H/t New York Daily News, New York Post)