EEOC: Supermarket Gives Preference to Hispanic Workers
Compare Foods is a supermarket chain catering to a primarily Latino customer base, so it only makes sense it would hire a large number of Spanish speakers to work in its stores.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) would normally have no issue with that. But, according to a federal discrimination complaint filed by the Commission, Compare
Foods fired three employees for not being Latino.
“As our nation undergoes demographic shifts, employers must be mindful not to target any specific group for discrimination because they prefer workers of a different race or
nationality,” Lynette Barnes, the EEOC’s Charlotte (N.C.) regional attorney, said in a released statement.
Ms. Barnes told The Charlotte Observer, her office was seeing more complaints of this nature where “non-Hispanics are claiming they lost jobs or were not hired because
employers were hiring Hispanics.”
Two of the former Compare Foods workers involved in the EEOC complaint are black and the other is white.
According to the EEOC filing, Compare Foods reduced the number of hours Eugene Gates worked and otherwise made his working conditions intolerable. As a result, Mr. Gates quit.
The two others involved in the complaint, Bernice Grier and Thomas McCoy, claim they were fired from their jobs because they were not Latinos.
The EEOC is seeking back pay as well as other compensatory and punitive damages for the three workers.
Discussion Question: According to the EEOC, African-Americans are increasingly filing complaints alleging they have either not gotten jobs or lost employment
because of not being Latino. What are your thoughts on this subject and what it means for retailer employers?
According to a study done by Pew Research, 22 percent of blacks say they have lost a job or know of someone who has because they were not Latino. Fourteen
percent of whites say the same.
Thirty-four percent of blacks, according to Pew, believe immigrants are taking jobs from U.S. citizens compared to 25 percent of whites.