CLOUGHERTY PACKING CO. AGREES TO NEARLY $440,000 SETTLEMENT WITH THE OFCCP

by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

The settlement was reported in a news release dated December 18, 2012 and may be viewed at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20122228.htm#.UNnA146hDzJ. Clougherty Packing Company, a subsidiary of Hormel, sells more than 400 million pounds of pork per year and is best known for its “Dodger Dogs”, which are sold at Los Angeles Dodger baseball games. Clougherty currently has a 3.9 million dollar contract with the Department of Agriculture to distribute products to food banks and other assistance programs.

Based on audits conducted between 2007 and 2009, the OFCCP determined that Clougherty discriminated against women, particularly Latino women, in its hiring process. The jobs in question were entry-level laborer positions at a meatpacking plant in Los Angeles. According to the terms of the settlement, Clougherty will pay $439,538 in back pay (with interest) to 1,988 qualified females who were rejected for jobs, and will also make 700 job offers to affected women as they become available. Given the size of the award and the 700 person shortfall, the award amounts to a little more than $600 per person.

In commenting on the settlement, OFCCP Director Shiu stated:

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," ….. "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. 

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