Agreement includes back wages, interest, benefits and job offers
Federal contractor Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC will pay $1.65 million in back wages, interest and benefits to 970 women who were subjected to systemic discrimination by the company. The settlement follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which found that the women were rejected for general laborer positions at the company's Green Bay plant in 2006 and 2007.
"This is the 21st century in the United States of America. There is no such thing as a "man's job,'" said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased that my department has been able to work out a resolution with Green Bay Dressed Beef, and that the settlement not only compensates the victims of discrimination but also provides jobs for many of these women."
In addition to financial compensation, the beef supplier will extend a total of 248 offers of employment to affected women as positions become available. The company already has hired more than 60 of the women in the original class.
During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that the company had violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender in their employment practices. Under the terms of the conciliation agreement worked out between the Labor Department and the contractor, the $1.65 million will be divided among the affected women who return timely notifications. The company also has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring and corrective measures to ensure that all employment practices fully comply with the law and will immediately correct any discriminatory practices.
Two of Green Bay Dressed Beef's largest clients are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense -- as one of the largest suppliers of beef products for the federal school lunch program and one of the leading providers of beef products to American military personnel worldwide.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.