Just before 2013 ended, a settlement was reached in an employment lawsuit involving a New Jersey-based dairy company. Cream-o-Lakes does business in the private and the public sector by providing dairy products to schools, federal agencies and commercial businesses in New Jersey as well as several neighboring states.
It is a multi-state business, but not a multi-cultural one, said the U.S. Labor Department. The Labor Department conducted a review concerning the years 2010 and 2011 and found that there was a hiring bias, discriminating against applicants based on both their race and their gender. According to the review, 227 prospective job applicants suffered harm as a result.
To close the issue, Cream-o-Lakes agreed to the settlement. In this agreement, the company promised to open up 24 positions to the protected classes that suffered under the previous hiring practices. To compensate those applicants that were already denied a job based on their race or sex, the company agreed to pay $324,000.
Settlements such as this one are not uncommon. There are reasons that both parties would want to settle a claim, whether in a class action lawsuit or one involving a single plaintiff. Common reasons include guaranteeing a damage award, saving on the cost of trial or even avoiding an appeal.
Finalizing a claim in this way may be in the benefit of the wronged party, and some employers may offer a settlement to this wronged party. The important part to remember is that a settlement can bar the employee from filing a future claim, and a claim settlement should never be entered into without discussing it with an employment attorney in New Jersey.
Source: Nj.com, “N.J. based Cream-o-Land Dairy settles charges of sex, race discrimination,” Dec. 31, 2013