Mitsuwa Corporation, the largest Japanese supermarket in the United States, recently agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The lawsuit alleged that Mitsuwa regularly paid Hispanic employees less than non-Hispanics for doing the same work. After a Hispanic employee complained that he was underpaid because he was Hispanic, an investigation revealed a class of Hispanic employees that were discriminated against by Mitsuwa.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate in its employment practices because an employee originates from a particular country or part of the world, or because an employee appears to come from a particular ethnic background. Pay discrimination based on an employee’s national origin is exactly the kind of discrimination that violates Title VII.
When an employer’s practices illegally discriminate against employees or job applicants, it could end up paying thousands or even millions of dollars to the individuals affected by the illegal conduct. In this case, Mitsuwa will pay $250,000 to compensate the Hispanic employees who were harmed by its policies. Mitsuwa also agreed to give pay raises to current Hispanic employees. The EEOC will also periodically review Mitsuwa’s compensation practices and discrimination complaints. Hoping to prevent similar illegal practices and costly lawsuits in the future, Mitsuwa has agreed to revise its anti-discrimination policies and to train its managers and employees to comply with Title VII.
It is an employer’s responsibility to pay attention and guard against illegal discrimination in the workplace.
If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you based on your national origin (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Asian or any other national origin), you may have a legal claim. To find out if you have a legal claim for national origin discrimination, your best option is to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At the Spitz law firm, you will meet with a religious discrimination attorney, who will be able to tell you what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them.
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