Green Bay Women Get Beefy Settlement

Green Bay A meat packing company in Green Bay, Wis., has been ordered to pay $1.65 million in back wages, interest and benefits to 970 women who were subjected to systemic discrimination. Although no complaints were filed by the women themselves, the U.S. Labor Department said it discovered the problem during routine inspections of companies that get federal contracts.

It seems that Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC was accused of rejecting almost 1,000 female job applicants for general laborer positions in 2006 and 2007, because they were women. The Department of Labor was looking into the company's hiring practices because it's one of the largest suppliers of beef products for the federal school lunch program and to American military personnel worldwide. Two of Green Bay Dressed Beef's largest clients are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense.

At the time of the lawsuit, about a quarter of the company's more than 1,400 employees were female, which is too few to comply with standards set for federal contractors.

In addition to financial compensation, the beef supplier will make 248 job offers to the women who applied as positions become available. The company already has hired about 60 of the women as part of the settlement.

"This is the 21st century in the United States of America. There is no such thing as a "man's job,'" stated Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased that my department has been able to work out a resolution with Green Bay Dressed Beef, and that the settlement not only compensates the victims of discrimination but also provides jobs for many of these women."

The money will be distributed to the affected job applicants as soon as they apply. If all of the women affected do apply, they'll get about $1,700 each.

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