Nishimoto Trading to Pay $400K to Settle Sex Discrimination Charges

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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.

“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-based Nishimoto operates U.S. branch offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Miramar, Fla., Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, 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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