Reverse discrimination alleged at store

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued the Compare Foods grocery store chain for allegedly firing an employee at a Statesville store because of his race and national origin.

The grocery chain, which operates 50 stores in seven states, allegedly fired a white, non-Hispanic meat cutter in 2006 and replaced him with a less qualified Hispanic worker, the EEOC's lawsuit says.

The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for the fired worker. Compare Foods was not immediately available to comment on the suit.

Earlier this year, the EEOC settled a lawsuit against another Compare Foods in Charlotte. In that case, the EEOC also alleged that the company fired three non-Hispanic employees in the store's meat department and replaced them with Hispanic workers.