Plastic sheeting supplier Midwest Canvas Corp. has agreed to pay $230,000 and change its hiring procedures to settle a complaint from the U.S. government that it discriminated in hiring laborers as part of a federal contract, according to a Sept. 21 Department of Labor news release.
The DOL said the Chicago-based company will extend employment offers to 41 people who applied for jobs in 2018 and 2019 — 38 Black, two Asian and one white applicant — and pay them $230,204 in back pay and interest.
The company did not respond to a request for comment but the DOL's news release said Midwest Canvas "admits no liability and denies [the government's] allegations."
A settlement decree released by the government, however, said the DOL "found statistically significant differences in the hiring rates of Black, Asian and white applicants for the laborer positions at the Chicago ... establishment when compared to Hispanics" for an 18-month period ending September 30, 2019.
"The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs takes seriously the legal and contractual obligation of federal contractors to provide equal employment opportunities for all qualified job applicants regardless of race," said Carmen Navarro, regional director of the OFCCP in Chicago. "Working together with Midwest Canvas, OFCCP will ensure that the issues identified in this compliance evaluation are resolved and that the company puts into place procedures to ensure future compliance."
The DOL said the company had a contract to supply plastic sheeting for international relief efforts.
The company makes pool covers, tarps, plastic sheeting and related products and operates manufacturing facilities in Illinois, New York, Texas, and Utah, DOL said.