$188K Settlement in Hiring Discrimination Case

Minneapolis-based Nash Finch, described as the second-largest publicly traded U.S. wholesale food distributor, is paying that amount in back wages to 84 women rejected for entry-level order selector jobs at a distribution facility in Lumberton, N.C.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has agreed to settle a hiring discrimination case against Nash Finch Co., a Minneapolis-base wholesale food distributor that is one of the largest suppliers to military commissaries. The company reports about $5 billion annually in sales, according to its website, and it has agreed to pay $188,500 in back wages and interest to 84 women who were rejected for entry-level order selector jobs at its distribution facility in Lumberton, N.C.

The settlement has been approved by the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges. "I am glad we were able to achieve a fair resolution in this case," Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith said in the DOL news release. "Our economy cannot afford to lose the skills and talents of millions of American women who count on us to enforce equal opportunity laws so that they can find good jobs without fear of discrimination."

According to the release, OFCCP investigators reviewed employment practices at the Lumberton facility from May 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2006. OFCCP filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Law Judges on Nov. 30, 2010, alleging Nash Finch had systematically discriminated against women who applied for jobs as order selectors during a nine-month period in 2006.

"Our government relies on thousands of private companies to produce the goods and provide the services that we depend on to do our jobs," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "It is in everyone's best interest that contractors like Nash Finch succeed. But for federal contractors, success is not measured solely by performing a task or providing a service. True success means that, as required by law, every qualified worker has a fair shot at jobs funded by taxpayer dollars."

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