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PRESS RELEASE
5-19-09

COMPARE FOODS TO PAY $30,000 FOR NATIONAL ORIGIN AND RACE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST NON-HISPANIC

EEOC Says Statesville Supermarket Fired Employee for Being Non-Latino

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – West Front Street Foods, LLC, doing business as Compare Foods, will pay $30,000 and provide other relief to settle a national origin and race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that West Front Street Foods fired Robert Bruce, a white, non-Hispanic meat cutter, from a Compare Foods supermarket it operated in Statesville, N.C., based on his race and national origin. The lawsuit also charged that Bruce was replaced by a Hispanic worker as a racially motivated maneuver.

Race and national origin discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the litigation on September 8, 2008 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (EEOC v. West Front Street Foods, LLC d/b/a Compare Foods, Civil Action No 5:08-cv-102).

In addition to the monetary payment, the consent decree resolving the case also requires West Front Street Foods to distribute a formal, written anti-discrimination policy; provide periodic training to all its employees on the policy and on Title VII’s prohibition against national origin and race discrimination; send periodic reports to the EEOC concerning employees who are fired or resign; and post a “Notice to Employees” concerning this lawsuit.

Last year the EEOC settled a lawsuit against another Compare Foods supermarket in Charlotte (EEOC v. E & T Foods, LLC d/b/a Compare Foods, Civil Action No 3:06-cv-318, W.D.N.C). In that case, the EEOC also charged that the employer fired three non-Hispanic employees in the store’s meat department because of their race or national origin and replaced them with Hispanic workers.

“Federal law clearly prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an employee’s race or nationality,” said the regional attorney of EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, Lynette A. Barnes. “Everyone deserves the freedom to compete in the workplace on a fair and level playing field.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.