Thursday, December 31, 2009

US Labor Department settles discrimination findings against Los Angeles Coca-Cola bottling company

Agency review determined employer failed to hire African-American applicants

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Department of Labor has agreed to settle findings of hiring discrimination at the BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plant located in Los Angeles, Calif.

The agreement settles allegations by the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that BCI Coca-Cola engaged in hiring discrimination against African-American applicants for entry-level merchandiser positions between Jan.1 and Dec. 31, 2006.

OFCCP investigators found that the facility's selection process disproportionately rejected African-American applicants. Under the terms of the agreement, BCI Coca-Cola agrees to pay a total of $49,376 in back pay and interest, to be shared among 26 former applicants. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling also will hire seven of the previously rejected African-American applicants as merchandisers. Merchandisers work with retail outlets to maintain displays and stock inventory in order to maximize product sales.

"This settlement demonstrates the Labor Department's determination to prevent workplace discrimination by federal contractors," said William D. Smitherman, director of OFCCP's Pacific regional office in San Francisco. "With Coca-Cola's cooperation during the review, we were able to achieve a common goal of compliance."

BCI Coca-Cola also agrees to immediately cease any discriminatory practices and undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law.

BCI Coca-Cola has federal contracts to sell beverages and food products to the Defense Commissary Agency.

OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces Executive Order 11246 and other laws that prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency monitors federal contractors to ensure that they provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status. More information is available on the agency's Web at

OFCCP News Release: [12/21/2009] Contact Name: Deanne Amaden Phone Number: (415) 625-2630 Release Number: 09-1422-SAN

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