The Nishimoto Trading Co., which sells Asian foods to various Department of Defense facilities, has agreed to pay $400,000 in back wages to women who alleged the company illegally refused to hire them. Nishimoto operates a facility in Chicago.
The company’s hiring practices came under scrutiny during an investigation by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which monitors government contractors.
The money will be split among 71 women who applied for but were denied positions as sales associates. The settlement agreement also requires the company to hire 14 women sales associates.
Note: Nishimoto took in $1.2 million in federal money last year, one-third of which will now go to wronged job applicants.
Federal contracts come with significant government scrutiny. Employers that are proactive about addressing discriminatory pay issues almost always fare better than those that wait for government agencies to force them to comply.