Reverse Discrimination by Hispanic Supermarket Prompts Settlement

In a lawsuit brought last year by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Compare Foods in North Carolina, the EEOC claimed the supermarket fired a white, non-Hispanic meat cutter due to its preference for employing Latino workers.  Compare Foods has now agreed to settle the action, which alleges national-origin and race discrimination, for $30,000 as well as by agreeing to take certain preventative measures such as distributing a written anti-discrimination policy, providing its employees with Title VII anti-discrimination training, and informing its existing employees of the lawsuit and settlement.

According to the allegations of the Complaint, Compare Foods fired Robert Bruce not because of his job performance, but because of his race (white) and national origin (non-Hispanic), and replaced him with a Hispanic worker.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits harassment of employees on the basis of race or national origin where the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a “hostile work environment,” or where the harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits (such as getting fired).  The law protects not just minorities but members of all races.

The settlement also requires Compare Foods to provide a positive letter of reference to any prospective employer of Mr. Bruce, describing him as “a reliable employee who possesses excellent skills as a butcher.”  A Spanish-language television commercial for the supermarket chain is below.

 

 

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