Packing Manufacturer Settles Charges of Hiring Discrimination With The OFCCP For $235K

News Release

Crowley, Louisiana, packaging manufacturer settles charges of hiring discrimination, will pay $235K in lost wages to more than 300 applicants

NEW ORLEANS — Hiring choices based on the belief that a person of one race works harder than others are wrong and they are illegal, federal investigators have reminded a Louisiana packaging manufacturer.

In an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, La Pac Manufacturing Inc. settled allegations of systemic hiring discrimination against more than 300 applicants at its Crowley facility. The company, a federal contractor, has agreed to pay $235,000 in lost wages.

OFCCP investigators found La Pac favored Hispanic applicants and hired them at a higher rate than black or white applicants. In fact, the company rejected 185 black and 120 white applicants for machine operator positions that it offered to Hispanic applicants. OFCCP determined that this violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination in hiring by federal contractors.

“OFCCP found that La Pac’s hiring officials assumed black or white applicants would not work as hard as Hispanics,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “We cannot limit access to jobs by using demeaning racial and ethnic stereotypes. All qualified individuals must have an equal chance at being hired.”

Under the terms of its conciliation agreement with OFCCP, La Pac will pay $235,000 in back wages and interest to the affected individuals, and make 47 job offers to the affected class members as machine operator positions become available. While denying that it had committed any violation, the company has also agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that its hiring practices comply with the law fully, including record-keeping requirements.

“We are committed to ensuring that qualified applicants are hired, promoted and compensated fairly, without respect to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran,” said Melissa L. Speer, OFCCP regional director for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions. “Contractors must monitor their workforces to ensure no one race or ethnic group is favored.”

La Pac manufactures a variety of woven polypropylene fabric and bulk bags used in the food and chemical industries, sandbags and packaging bags. The contractor currently has federal contracts worth more than $7 million with the U.S. Mint and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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 prohibit those doing business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

OFCCP News Release: [07/30/2015]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Email: Petterson.Diana@dol.gov or Rodriguez.Juan@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-1488-DAL