Brunswick settles Lund gender-bias lawsuit

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs reached an agreement with federal contractor Lund Boat Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Brunswick Corp., to settle allegations of hiring discrimination.

In a consent judgment approved by the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, Brunswick and Lund agreed to pay $295,000 in back wages and interest to 185 female job applicants who were rejected for entry-level positions at Lund’s manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minn., according to a report in the Fergus Falls (Minn.) Journal.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach a settlement in this case, one which will provide immediate relief to the women involved and lasting protections for all job seekers who apply to work for Lund and Brunswick in the future,” compliance director Patricia A. Shiu told the paper. “[The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] is committed to making sure that companies that hold federal contracts — profiting from taxpayer dollars — give workers a fair shot at employment and do not use gender as a factor when it comes to deciding who gets a job and who doesn’t.”

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs investigators based in Chicago conducted a review of Lund’s New York Mills facility, beginning in September 2007. Based on findings, the agency determined that Lund had failed to ensure that qualified female job applicants received equal consideration for employment without regard to their gender as required by Executive Order 11246, the paper reported.

The department filed an administrative complaint with its Office of Administrative Law Judges on Nov. 30, 2011, alleging that Lund officials had systematically discriminated against female job applicants in 2006 and 2007.

In addition to the financial remedies, the agreement requires Brunswick and Lund to extend job offers to at least 27 women in the original class as general laborer positions open. Seven class members have already been hired.

The companies also have agreed to maintain and retain required employment records, undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law and submit detailed progress reports to OFCCP for the next two years.

In the last two years alone, Brunswick has held federal contracts worth more than $248 million with agencies that include the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Click here for the full report.

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