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Sherwood Food Agrees to Pay $3.6 Million to Settle Sex Discrimination Class Action

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought suit against large independent food distributor Sherwood Food Distributors on behalf of a class of female job applicants. The class included female applicants from as far back as 2009 who claimed they were not hired for entry-level positions because of their gender. Entry-level warehouse employees fulfill customer orders by gathering products from the warehouse. According to the EEOC, there were almost no women hired for those positions.
A consent decree was entered whereby Sherman agreed not only to pay $3.6 million but also to offer jobs to at least 150 of the women specifically identified by the EEOC. Hiring goals will also be put in place to increase the percentage of women hired going forward in the entry-level positions and to maintain the higher percentage over the next five years. The EEOC will be collecting electronic data such as applicant flow logs and the number of male and female applicants seeking those jobs and whether the company is meeting hiring goals. Sherman Food has denied any wrongdoing.