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Clougherty Packing Co. – maker of the ‘Dodger Dog’ – to pay almost $440,000 to settle sex discrimination case with US Department of Labor
Company agrees to pay back wages to nearly 2,000 female job applicants and offer jobs to at least 700 class members
LOS ANGELES — Clougherty Packing Co., a federal contractor and subsidiary of Hormel Food Corp., has settled allegations of systemic hiring discrimination against female job applicants following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
Compliance officers reviewing Clougherty’s hiring practices determined that, between 2007 and 2009, the company violated Executive Order 11246 by using a hiring process that discriminated against women — the majority of whom are Latinas — who applied for laborer positions at the company’s meat-packing plant in Los Angeles. Under the terms of its conciliation agreement with OFCCP, Clougherty will pay $439,538 in back wages, including interest, to 1,988 qualified female job applicants rejected for these entry-level positions. Clougherty also will make 700 job offers to affected women as positions become available. Furthermore, the company has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all of its hiring practices fully comply with the law.
“So many Americans grew up eating Dodger Dogs and other Hormel products. These are uniquely American brands that ought to reflect American values, particularly when it comes to ensuring fairness in the workplace,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “During this holiday season, I hope that 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.”
Women who applied and were rejected for laborer positions at Clougherty’s Los Angeles facility between Feb. 10, 2007, and Feb. 9, 2009, may be eligible for the back wages, interest and job opportunities in this settlement. The company has committed to contacting all class members to explain their eligibility for these remedies. However, anyone who does not receive such a notice and believes the omission is in error can contact OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 (TTY: 877-889-5627) for more information.
Clougherty Packing Co. sells more than 400 million pounds of pork per year, including products sold under the Farmer John label and “Dodger Dogs,” which are served at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball stadium. The company currently holds a federal contract of $3.9 million with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which distributes Clougherty products to food banks and other assistance programs. Family-owned for generations, Clougherty Packing was sold in 2004 to Austin, Texas-based Hormel.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information about the agency, please call OFCCP’s helpline or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
(original release may be found here)