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US Labor Department files complaint against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co. for sex discrimination at Minnesota manufacturing plant

More than 200 women applicants affected; complaint seeks back wages, job opportunities

WASHINGTON — The U.S.  Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is suing  federal contractor Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned  subsidiary. In an administrative complaint filed today with the department’s  Office of Administrative Law Judges, OFCCP asserts that the companies  systematically discriminated against more than 200 women who applied for  entry-level positions at Lund’s boat  manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minn.

“Representatives  from Lund have  argued that women were less likely to be hired than men because of a preference  for workers with manufacturing experience,” said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia  Smith. “However, OFCCP’s investigation found that even women with this type of  experience were less likely to be hired than men without it. That’s not fair.  It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”

Under  Executive Order 11246, federal  contractors are required to ensure that qualified job applicants receive equal  consideration for employment without regard to their sex. OFCCP’s complaint requests that Lund and Brunswick  provide financial remedies — including lost wages, interest and benefits — to the  women affected by the discriminatory practices. Furthermore, the agency asks  that job offers be extended to at least 27 women in the original group of  applicants. Finally, the suit asks that the companies be prohibited from  extending or modifying current government contracts and from entering into  future contracts until they have remedied these violations.

“Brunswick’s Chairman and  CEO, Dustan McCoy, has stated a commitment to acting ethically,” said OFCCP  Director Patricia A. Shiu. “By his own words, ‘Acting ethically simply means  that we do what is right in all situations.’ So, we ask him now to do what is  right for the women who sought a fair shot at employment with his company and  for the taxpayers who deserve to know that their money is never used to  discriminate.”

Based in Lake Forest,  Ill., Brunswick  is a leading provider of marine, athletic and recreational products. Lund serves as the  corporation’s boat manufacturing division. In the past two years alone, Brunswick held federal  contracts totaling almost $23 million with agencies including the U.S.  Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, among others.

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, 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 1-800-397-6251 or visit  its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

OFCCP v. Lund Boat Co. and  Brunswick Corp.
Case Number: 2012-OFC-00002

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