Coca-Cola Settles Gender and Race Discrimination Case in Louisiana
Harahan, La.— The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that the
Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Harahan has agreed to settle
findings of hiring discrimination against 800 female and minority
job applicants. The company will pay the applicants a total of $340,000
in back wages as part of the settlement.
During a routine investigation of the Coca-Cola establishment, the
Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
(OFCCP) found that the company failed to uniformly apply selection
criteria to applicants without regard to gender and race. After a
thorough review of the company’s hiring practices, OFCCP determined
that females and minorities applying for merchandiser positions were
unlawfully screened out by the company’s hiring process.
The settlement agreement alleges Coca-Cola engaged in hiring discrimination
during the period from Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2003 even though the
company does not admit liability. In addition to paying the back wages,
Coca-Cola will hire 42 of the rejected female and minority applicants.
Coca-Cola, a beverage manufacturer, contracts with the U.S. Defense
“Federal contractors should take note that OFCCP will aggressively
pursue enforcement actions where the Department’s efforts to achieve
voluntary compliance settlements fail,” said Charles E. James Sr.,
OFCCP deputy assistant secretary for federal contract compliance.
“Employers are encouraged to follow the law and take proactive steps
to prevent workplace discrimination.”
OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Labor Department’s Employment Standards
Administration, enforces Executive Order 11246 and other laws that
prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency
monitors federal contractors to ensure they provide equal employment
opportunities without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national
origin, disability or veterans’ status.
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