Dodging Federal Discrimination Laws Doesn’t Pay

by Patricia Shiu on December 18, 2012 · 5 comments

A boy eats a hot dog at a baseball gameIn Los Angeles, Clougherty Packing Co.’s famous “Dodger dog” is nearly as famous as the Dodgers themselves. Millions of the 10-inch frankfurters are sold each year.  

Because the company holds a federal contract (with the U.S. Agriculture Department), my agency, the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, is responsible for enforcing fair hiring and employment practices at the Los Angeles plant where these ballpark dogs and other products are made.

When they sign on the dotted line, federal contractors agree that they will take affirmative action in their employment practices and won’t discriminate. This means all federal contracts require the fair and equal treatment of workers and job applicants – regardless of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

But in the case of Clougherty, we found that, over a two-year period, nearly 2,000 women who applied for entry-level positions were rejected in favor of men − despite being qualified.

As a result of our review, Clougherty has agreed to pay $439,538 in back wages to the qualified female applicants who were denied jobs, the majority of whom are Latina. The company, which is a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., also will make 700 job offers to women who were qualified but not hired at the company’s Los Angeles meatpacking plant.

And to make sure that its hiring practices fully comply with the law, Clougherty has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures. We’ll be checking, too.

I hope this settlement can provide a little financial help and a whole lot of justice for the women who were denied a fair shot at employment. Moreover, I am glad we were able to work with Clougherty to make sure that there will be greater opportunities for women to get jobs going forward.

For more information about the laws enforced by OFCCP, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit www.dol.gov/ofccp.  

Patricia A. Shiu is the director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bobby December 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

You need to do something about Veterans Status on U. S. Army Corps of Engineers projects. Loopholes still allow non-veteran friends and family members to be called back before Veterans after a lay off (reduction in force).

2 Maurice Arcadier January 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm

In addition to the laws enforced by the OFCCP, there are many work place rules and regulations which must be followed such as the anti discrimination provisions of title vii. It never pays, in the long run, to circumvent employment laws.

3 Matt Fraser January 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

What about hiring military people first?

I understand woman should have the same rights. However, we can argue all day what defines “fair hiring and employment practices ” . The end result should be ex-military first. Woman and men….

4 Natalie April 9, 2013 at 1:03 am

Statistics on gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace are staggering. Not only are women frequently passed over for jobs, those who do find employment often face unfair conditions at work. I recently wrote about this topic at [link removed] and appreciate you raising this important issue here.

5 Online writing class October 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm

People need to be more accepting of those with difference to their own. If you read the writings of the great, this is always a defining characteristic. Love for one’s fellow man. I hope the women who were turned down were able to find employment elsewhere so that they could provide for their families.

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