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Nishimoto Trading Co. will pay $400,000 to 71 women to settle US Labor Department sex discrimination allegations

Women denied employment at Santa Fe Springs, Calif., branch to receive back pay and job offers

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract  Compliance Programs has reached an agreement with federal contractor Nishimoto  Trading Co. to settle findings of hiring discrimination. In a conciliation  agreement with the department, Nishimoto will pay $400,000 in back wages and  interest to 71 women who were rejected for sales associate positions at the  company’s facility in Santa Fe Springs,   Calif.

“Those who do business with our government are expected to  follow our laws,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “I am pleased the  Department of Labor was able to work out a fair settlement with Nishimoto that  will guarantee women the right to compete fairly for good jobs.”

Based on a compliance evaluation of the company’s Santa Fe  Springs facility conducted by OFCCP’s Los Angeles District Office, investigators  determined that Nishimoto failed to ensure qualified job applicants received  equal consideration for employment without regard to gender as required by  Executive Order 11246. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Nishimoto  will extend job offers to 14 women in the original class as sales associate  positions become open. The company also has agreed to improve training for personnel  involved in the selection process. In addition, Nishimoto must undertake  extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully  comply with the law and immediately correct any discriminatory practices.

Tokyo, Japan-based Nishimoto operates U.S. branch  offices in Atlanta, Ga.;  Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nev.; Miramar, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Diego  and San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Carlstadt, N.J.; and Elkridge, Md.  The company holds federal contracts totaling $1.2 million with the U.S.  Department of Defense to sell Asian foods at commissaries.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section  503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’  Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those  who do business with the federal government, both contractors and  subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not  discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national  origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information,  call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

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