A boat manufacturing company will pay out a settlement of $295,000 for discriminating against female job applicants who were rejected from job openings at its plant in northwestern Minnesota. The employment discrimination suit filed in 2011 claimed that the company rejected these women who applied for entry-level jobs with the manufacturer. Although the company denied the allegations, its parent company has agreed to pay back wages and interest to the original applicants.
The complaint was filed by the United States Department of Labor in 2011 after the boat maker was alleged to have engaged in gender discrimination by not hiring women for general laborer positions during 2006 and 2007. The company claimed that it gave equal opportunity to both males and females who applied for positions, but that it preferred applicants who had manufacturing experience. According to the complaint, men who did not have the required experience were still hired more frequently than women with a manufacturing background.
The settlement agreement requires that the boat manufacturer hire at least 27 women who were involved in the original class action suit as positions become available within the company. Seven of the women from the class have already been hired. The company must also take measures to ensure that it complies with labor laws.
State and federal laws make employment discrimination on the basis of gender illegal. Males and females are entitled to equal rights when it comes to employment opportunities. If a person is qualified for a certain position, he or she should not be denied the position on the basis of gender.
As more women become employed, and especially for those women who take on traditionally male-held positions in the workforce, inequalities in hiring practices and other forms of discrimination still occur. By holding companies legally responsible for employment discrimination, employees can work to further establish a precedent for equality in the workplace.
Source: Star Tribune, "Lund Boat settles gender complaint," Janet Moore, Sept. 4, 2012