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Women Denied Laborer Jobs Win Settlement

Forty-nine women who were denied entry-level, laborer positions with Nevada’s Eagle-Picher Minerals Inc. will share a settlement of $92,471 in back pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor helped to negotiate the settlement agreement after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance found that the company had discriminated against qualified female job applicants during a routine review. The compliance review also found evidence of sexual harassment at the company, and has ordered training for its managers and employees.

Eagle-Picher Minerals is a company that mines and packs plankton, a substance found in soil that is used to make filters and other products. It has about 150 employees and holds federal contracts with the Department of Defense for almost $2 million.

In addition to compensating the women for lost wages, the company also agreed to hire at least 13 women and to compensate those women who had applied earlier for retroactive seniority and lost benefits.

Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman stressed the importance of women’s admission to job sectors, saying, “The pay gap between men and women will persist as long as companies refuse to consider women equally. I urge businesses to look at their hiring and compensation programs and to ensure that qualified women are not excluded from jobs or promotions because of their gender.”

Sources:

U.S. Department of Labor - May 25, 1999