FLORENCE, N.J. (AP) — A dairy company that sells to stores and schools in the Northeast and to federal agencies has agreed to pay over $324,000 to settle claims it discriminated against more than 200 female, black and Asian job applicants for warehouse jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said.
Cream-O-Land Dairy, while denying any wrongdoing, also agreed to make 24 job offers to affected class members as they become available and to change hiring practices to ensure there is no further alleged discrimination.
The government said 227 job applicants were affected. They will be offered back pay, interest and benefits in lieu of retroactive seniority, in an amount totaling over $324,000.
Cream-O-Land declined comment Tuesday on the settlement.
The dairy sells to stores and schools in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware as well as to federal agencies including Veterans Affairs and the Army.
The company's hiring in 2010 and 2011 was reviewed by the government's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which ensures federal contractors follow required anti-discriminatory practices.
The review, which included an examination of policies, records, test results and interview results, "failed to provide a non-discriminatory explanation for the non-selection of these applicants," the settlement agreement said.
The agreement "underscores the notion that federal contractors like Cream-O-Land should closely examine their employment practices to eliminate any unfair barriers to equal opportunity," said Patricia Shiu, the compliance office's director.