In 2007, Gordon Food Service of Wyoming, Michigan settled charges of sex discrimination in hiring for entry-level labor jobs at its Grand Rapids and Brighton warehouses.
This year, the company has agreed to pay $1.85 million in back wages and benefits to women denied jobs at those and other warehouses because they couldn't pass a strength test, which the government says was more stringent than the actual job requirements. In addition, the department says at least one male employee who'd been working at Gordon Foods for over two years failed the test.
The U.S. Department of Labor says the test Gordon Foods used was developed for coal miners, and it effectively weeded out women from getting the jobs. Between January, 2010 and September, 2012, Gordon Food Service hired 300 men for warehouse jobs, and only six women.
Gordon Food Service is a food service provider that contracts with the federal government. The company also maintains a number of stores for private customers.
The U.S. Department of Labor is looking for women who may be entitled to monetary relief after being denied a job at Gordon Food Service.
A statement from Gordon Food Service says the company has taken steps to fix its recruiting process, and says it values a diverse workforce.