Lund Boat Pays $295K to Settle Sex-Discrimination Allegation

New York Mills-based Lund Boat Company and its parent company reached a settlement with the federal government over alleged hiring discrimination; the companies admitted no wrongdoing.

The federal government said Tuesday that Lund Boat Company and its parent company, Brunswick Corporation, have agreed to pay $295,000 to settle sex-discrimination allegations.

The U.S. Department of Labor began investigating Lund Boat’s New York Mills plant in 2007. (New York Mills is located in Minnesota’s Otter Tail County.) The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) then filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Law Judges last December, alleging that Lund “systematically discriminated” against women who applied for entry-level positions at its Minnesota boat-manufacturing plant in 2006 and 2007.

Under the terms of the settlement, Brunswick and Lund will pay $295,000 in back wages and interest to 185 female job applicants who were rejected for entry-level positions. In addition, the companies must extend job offers to at least 27 women who were named in the lawsuit, as positions become available. (Seven such women have already been hired.)

The companies also have agreed to “maintain and retain required employment records, undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law, and submit detailed progress reports” to the government, the OFCCP said.

Brunswick said in a statement provided to Twin Cities Business that it cooperated with the OFCCP to reach the settlement, and neither Brunswick nor Lund have admitted to any wrongdoing.

“Brunswick and Lund Boat are equal opportunity employers and continue to strive for a diverse work force,” the company said.

OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, meanwhile, said in a statement that the office reached a “fair settlement in this case, one which will provide immediate relief to the women involved and lasting protections for all job seekers who apply to work for Lund and Brunswick in the future.”

Shiu added that her office is “committed to making sure that companies that hold federal contracts—profiting from taxpayer dollars—give workers a fair shot at employment and do not use gender as a factor when it comes to deciding who gets a job and who doesn’t.”

In the past two years, Brunswick has held federal contracts worth more than $248 million with agencies including the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the OFCCP.

Lund manufactures aluminum and fiberglass boats, primarily for fishing and recreational use, and sells them through a network of dealers throughout the United States.