Was Ethnicity the Reason a New Jersey Auto Dealership Underpaid Employees?

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A technician working for a New Jersey automobile dealership discovered a discrepancy in the pay of some of his fellow technicians. What he found was that all of the techs of Chinese descent (himself included) were paid less than their American counterparts. He complained to management, but was reportedly met with curses and threats. Allegedly, his employers threatened termination if he reported the underpaid employees to authorities. However, that didn’t stop him from taking legal action.

How to Fight Back When Employees Are Underpaid

Refusing to be cowed by threats, this service tech joined forces with seven other technicians of Chinese descent and filed a lawsuit. They alleged that the dealership paid them a starting wage of $9 an hour while paying a starting wage of $12-13 an hour to non-Chinese technicians. The suit said this pay discrepancy happened continually even though some of the non-Chinese techs had no electrical or auto body work experience when hired.

This kind of behavior from an employer in New Jersey can be considered workplace discrimination, which is a serious charge to be faced in court. The dealership settled the case instead of letting a jury decide. They will now have to pay the techs $150,000 in back pay and damages from as far back as 2010. They will also have to develop an anti-discrimination policy and train their employees in discrimination law.

These workers weren’t afraid to stand up for their rights, and neither should you. The civil trial attorneys at Keefe Law Firm have experience helping workers defend their rights. So, stick with us to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself in the workplace.