Long Island Firm Slapped With EEOC Suit

October 2, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The federal anti-discrimination agency has sued a Long Island firm, charging that it paid 21 Hispanic workers far less than their Asian coworkers and then fired the Hispanics when they complained.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit against First Wireless Group of Ronkonkoma, New York, a 325-employee cellular phonemanufacturer, according to an Associated Press report. The lawsuit charged that thecompany dismissed three employees in April 2001, then 17 others in February 2002 for signing a petition protesting the wage differences.

First Wireless attorney John Juliano told the Associated Press that some employees, both of Hispanic and Asian descent, earn more money than others if they have greater technical experience. He said the company didn’t discriminate against Hispanics, who make up about 80% of the workforce.

Juliano denied the workers were fired and said they chose not to change from night shifts to day shifts after the company eliminated night work.