Ford Dealership in New Jersey Owes $150K to Chinese Techs

Federal agency says the dealer paid higher wages to less experienced, non-Chinese employees.

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Chinese auto technicians at a Ford dealership in New Jersey are due $150,000 in back wages thanks to a consent decree that came after a discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The dealer, Winner Ford, agreed to settle the lawsuit launched in September 2016, which accused it of paying higher wages to non-Chinese technicians.

Since 2010, the EEOC charged, the dealer paid its Chinese emergency and accessory installation technicians a lower starting wage and hourly wage than non-Chinese technicians at its Cherry Hill, New Jersey, location. 

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When a Chinese worker complained about the wage disparity, he was reprimanded and told if he sought legal help, he would be out of a job, the EEOC said in a release last week.

In a story published Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed the case of one impacted worker, Ping Zhang, who was being paid $12 an hour by the Winner Ford dealership after five years on the job.

Zhang, already experienced in electrical work when he started at the dealership in 2011 at $9 an hour, later learned that a non-Chinese employee hired with little experience would be making $13 an hour.