Photo: Blockbuster Fined For Latino Discrimination
Blockbuster, Inc. has entered into a consent judgment requiring it to pay over $2 million to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.
The EEOC had charged the Dallas-based global entertainment retailer with subjecting female temporary employees to sexual harassment, retaliating against them for resisting sexual advances and complaining, and subjecting Hispanic temporary employees to national origin and race harassment and other discrimination. The litigation concerned events that occurred in 2004 and 2005 at a distribution center in Gaithersburg, Md.
In its suit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (EEOC v. Blockbuster Inc., Case No. RWT-07-CV-2612), the EEOC charged that the male supervisory staff engaged in and condoned the harassment of a class of seven female employees, four of whom are Hispanic.
The EEOC charged that the incidents of harassment committed by Blockbuster supervisors included repeated requests for sexual favors; yelling; insults; threats; unwelcome sex-related questioning; offense racial remarks; touching women’s intimate body areas; and other discriminatory conduct. This pervasive and unlawful conduct culminated in the denial of work hours, discriminatory firings, forced resignations and other discriminatory actions, according to the EEOC.
Blockbuster filed a bankruptcy petition during the pendency of this case, which remains pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and it has discontinued its former business operations.