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Gordon Food Service will pay $1.85 Million to Settle Charges of Gender Discrimination

Gordon Food Service, Inc. (GFS), for the second time, will settle discrimination charges with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).  The first settlement was in 2007 when the Michigan-based company was found to have systemically discriminated against qualified female applicants seeking entry-level laborer positions. GFS settled with the OFCCP for $450,000 for charges of sex discrimination. However, this time around, the federal contractor faces a much steeper settlement at $1.85 million.

Settlement & Findings

  • GFS will pay female applicants $1.85 million in back wages and benefits
  • GSF found to have systematically discriminated against 926 qualified women seeking entry-level laborer positions
  • OFCCP found GFS used discriminatory strength-based testing to systematically eliminate qualified females from the hiring process
  • GFS will hire 37 female applicants and discontinue the use of strength-based testing, deemed by the OFCCP to be discriminatory
  • Female applicants applied for entry-level warehouse positions at four locations: Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Grand Rapids and Brighton, Michigan; and Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Females affected by allegations of gender discrimination were found to be living predominantly in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Michigan
  • OFCCP determined the discriminatory hiring practices of GFS resulted in the hiring of 300 males and only six females during their period of investigation
  • To resolve discrimination findings, GFS has entered into three conciliation agreements

Gordon Food Service Inc., who has not admitted liability, is a leading food distribution company in North America, currently operating 170 locations in the U.S. GFS has received nearly $4.5 million in federal contracts since 2010, and the food service contractor produces products for the Federal Prison System and U.S. Departments of Defense and Agriculture.  As a federal contractor, receiving millions of government dollars, GFS is obligated to comply with affirmative action requirements. The foodservice company did not learn their lesson in 2007 and continued to operate using systemically discriminatory practices and policies. There are two key points that federal contractors can learn from this settlement:

The OFCCP is becoming more aggressive than ever, and federal contractors need to maintain and comply with their affirmative action plan obligations

If your company has settled with or was audited by the OFCCP in the past, this does not mean that your company is immune from a second investigation

If you have any question about how a settlement, like the one against Gordon Food Service, could impact your business or questions concerning your affirmative action requirements, contact Career Resources, Inc. at info@crincorporated.com

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