(CNSNews.com) - Clougherty Packing Co., a federal contractor and a subsidiary of Hormel Food Corp., has settled allegations of discriminating against female job applicants, following a Labor Department investigation.
Clougherty, maker of the "Dodger Dog," has agreed to pay $439,538 in back wages, including interest, to 1,988 women, mostly Latina, who were rejected for entry-level positions at the company's meat-packing plant in Los Angeles. Clougherty also will make job offers to 700 of those women as positions become available.
"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 Patricia Shiu, director of the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
"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."
Compliance officers reviewing Clougherty hiring practices determined that between 2007 and 2009, the company violated Executive Order 11246, which requires certain federal contractors to take affirmative action to increase the participation of women and minorities in the workplace.
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 as part of the settlement.
Clougherty Packing Co. sells more than 400 million pounds of pork a 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 Texas-based Hormel.