September 8th, 2012

Lund Boat Company (and its parent company, Brunswick Corporation) have agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to the federal government following a years-long investigation of hiring practices at a New York Mills, Minnesota, manufacturing facility.

The U.S. Department of Labor began investigating Lund’s manufacturing plant in rural Otter Tail County, Minnesota, back in 2007 following a series of complaints alleging that the company refused to hire qualified female workers at the facility. The USDOL investigation led to further inquiry by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and eventually resulted in the federal Office of Administrative Law Judges stepping in to address claims that Lund “systematically discriminated” against women seeking entry-level jobs at its factory.

Neither the OFCCP nor the OALJ made a specific finding that Lund had indeed participated in any illegal discrimination, and Lund vehemently denies that its employment practices were biased in any way. The settlement includes monetary damages-in the form of back wages and interest-awarded to 185 similarly situated female plaintiffs and the extension of job offers to the 27 female applicants named in the complaint. Seven of those women have already been hired, and Lund has agreed to offer positions to the other 20 as they arise.

Both Lund and Brunswick have also agreed to keep detailed records of their employment practices to ensure compliance with federal and state laws governing hiring and to regularly submit reports to the USDOL detailing employment-related decisions.

OFCCP spokesperson, Patricia Shiu, praised the agreement, calling it a “fair settlement…[that] will provide immediate relief to the women involved and lasting protections for all job seekers who apply to work for Lund and Brunswick in the future.”

Source: Twin Cities Business, “Lund Boat Pays $295K to Settle Sex-Discrimination Allegation” Jake Anderson, September 5, 2012.

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