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Bashas' Grocery Settles Hispanic Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit for $6.5M

This is a settlement for the Discrimination lawsuit.

New York, NY: A $6.5 million settlement has been reached in a discrimination class action lawsuit filed against Arizona-based Bashas' Inc, alleging the grocery chain discriminated against its Hispanic workers for nearly a decade, by paying them less than Caucasian employees.

Filed in 2002, the class action alleged Bashas' paid its employees at its Food City locations less than employees at its Bashas' or gourmet-focused A.J. Fine Foods locations. The workforce at Food City, which caters to Hispanic customers, was typically about 75 percent Hispanic, whereas employees at Bashas' and A.J. Fine Foods were mostly white, according to settlement documents.

According to the lawsuit the president of the grocery chain set the pay scales personally, every year. The plaintiffs contended that there was a significant disparity between pay rates for workers at Bashas' and Hispanic Food City employees: an experienced Food City clerk was paid $0.82 less per hour in 1999. This added up to a $1,640 loss over the course of a year if the worker was full-time.

The settlement class outlined under the settlement agreement is the same as the certified pay class, the plaintiffs noted, and includes all current and former Hispanic workers employed in hourly positions at Food City between April 4, 1998, and July 1, 2007, and were subjected to the challenged pay practices.

According to the settlement, filed in Arizona federal court, roughly $4.27 million will be available for distribution to the class after fees and costs are deducted, representing about 71 to 85 percent of the class losses. The fund will compensate Hispanic workers at its Food City stores from 1998 to 2007 in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affecting a class of over 12,000 employees.

An estimated 90 percent of the class members no longer work at Food City, and are thought to have moved to Mexico or Central American countries. Therefore, the settlement includes a $400,000 administrative fund to find as many class members as possible and ensure they receive their checks.

The case is Parra et al v. Bashas' Inc., case number 2:02-cv-00591, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

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Published on Sep-1-14


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