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PRESS RELEASE
10-3-16

EEOC Sues Winner Ford for National Origin Discrimination

Car Dealership Paid All Chinese Technicians Less Than Non-Chinese, Federal Agency Charges

PHILADELPHIA - Chas. S. Winner, Inc., doing business as Winner Ford of Cherry Hill and Winner Ford, violated federal law by compensating Chinese emergency accessories and installations (EAI) technicians less than other non-Chinese EAI technicians at its Cherry Hill, N.J., facility because of their national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

EEOC charges that since their hire in 2010 and 2011, all Chinese EAI technicians started at a lower hourly wage than any other non-Chinese employees with the same job and title. While all EAI technicians perform the same job, non-Chinese EAI technicians continue to earn upwards of $3 more per hour than Chinese EAI Technicians, including those hired after 2011 with inferior or no electrical or auto body work experience. According to the suit, when a Chinese EAI technician complained about the wage disparity, he was reprimanded, and told that if he sought legal advice, he would be out of a job.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against employees on the basis of national origin or to retaliate against individuals who complain about discrimination. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Chas. S. Winner, Inc. d/b/a Winner Ford of Cherry Hill d/b/a Winner Ford, Civil Action No. 1:16-6137) in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"Everyone deserves fair pay for a fair day's work," said EEOC Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. "It's blatantly unfair and unlawful to pay Chinese workers substantially less simply because of their national origin, and that's why we filed this suit."

EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. said, "No one wins when an employer threatens a worker who exercises his right to complain about unequal pay - not the worker who is being paid less, and not the employer who then faces an EEOC enforcement action. EEOC will take vigorous action to protect workers from pay discrimination and retaliation."

Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes, or that impede EEOC's investigative or enforcement efforts, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

EEOC's Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.