The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
9-14-09

EEOC SUES MITSUWA MARKETPLACE FOR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST HISPANIC EMPLOYEES

Japanese Supermarket Paid Hispanics Less Than Asians, Federal Agency Charges

NEWARK – A Japanese specialty supermarket in Edgewater, N.J., discriminated against Hispanic employees by paying them less than non-Hispanic workers, almost all of whom are Asian, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. Mitsuwa Marketplace specializes in selling Japanese food, beverages, desserts, groceries and other products.

In EEOC v. Mitsuwa Corp., d/b/a Mitsuwa Marketplace, filed in U.S. District Court for New Jersey, the EEOC asserts that since at least 2005, the market has engaged in a pattern or practice of underpaying Hispanics because of their national origin.

National origin discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The agency seeks injunctive relief to end the discriminatory practices, plus back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the Hispanic discrimination victims.

“Supermarket jobs are usually entry-level positions where no special skills or experience are required,” said EEOC New York District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. “Employers cannot discriminate against their employees having similar responsibilities and experience by paying employees of one national origin less than employees of a different national origin.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available at www.eeoc.gov.


This page was last modified on September 14, 2009.

Home Return to Home Page