Southern settles race discrimination claims

11th January, 2017 by Annie Hayes

The Louisiana arm of US drinks distribution company Southern Glazer’s has agreed to pay US$175,000 to clear allegations of discrimination against hundreds of African-Americans who applied for work.

Southern-Glazer's

Southern Glazer’s has agreed to pay US$175,000 and to resolve the allegations

A routine compliance review by the US Department of Labour found that January 2008 to January 2009, Southern Glazer’s discriminated against black applicants who sought to work at the company’s Louisiana warehouse facility.

The firm will pay 467 applicants and seek to hire “up to 13” individuals to settle allegations. The settlement figure will be shared equally be members of the class who respond within 45 days to notices of the agreement, while the job offers will be decided by the number of people who agree to do the work.

Southern Glazer’s is accused of violating Executive Order 11246, which bars contractors that conduct at least US$10,000 in annual business with the government from ‘discriminating in employment decisions based on applicants’ race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin’.

The distributor did not admit liability as a condition of the settlement.

“We categorically deny the charges and strongly disagree with the [office’s] findings, which were based on a flawed statistical model that fails to take into account the specifics of the hiring decisions involved,” Cindy Haas told The Spirits Business.

“After more than seven years of working with the department on this matter, we chose to reach a settlement rather than commit additional resources to expensive and protracted litigation.”

Last year, Southern Glazer’s slammed what it labelled “inaccurate accusations” of a lawsuit that claims the firm defrauded four New York bars over several years.

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