The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been taking on more cases of systematic discrimination, as compared to years when the executive branch was run by the Republican party. The Department of Labor is making waves, too. That Department enforces not just wage and hour laws, but also the affirmative action executive order put into place by President Lyndon Johnson. That order requires businesses doing a certain amount of business with the federal government to refrain from discrimination, to make efforts to improve diversity, and to report on their progress.
The DOL conducted a compliance review, and discovered a problem with the Green Bay Dressed Beef company, which supplies meat for school lunch programs and the military. The company was systematically rejecting women from general laborer positions. It will now pay $1.65 million to 970 women who applied for those jobs, and make job offers to 248 of them, as openings occur.
As the Secretary of the Department, Hilda L. Solis, stated, “There is no such thing as a ‘man’s job.’” The enforcement agencies are especially important in these kinds of case. It is not usually possible for an individual rejected for a job opening to establish that the reason was her gender. Unless the interviewer says something revealing, these cases require either a clearcut pattern, or a whistleblower.