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Grocer who wouldn't hire women for night stock jobs to pay

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An Indiana grocer has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges that it violated discrimination law by refusing to hire women in night crew stocker positions.

The EEOC said in a statement Friday that Merrillville, Indiana-based Ultra Foods, a unit of Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based SVT L.LC., rejected female night crew stocker applicants because of their sex between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 20, 2014, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The agency also charged that Ultra unlawfully disposed of hiring records that it should have maintained during that period.

In addition to the financial settlement, the consent decree resolving the suit also requires Ultra Foods to not discriminate or retaliate in the future and to take steps to keep all required hiring records, among other provisions.

“Ultra Foods adhered to antiquated gender-based notions of how it should fill its night-crew stocker position,” said Indianapolis-based EEOC regional attorney Laurie Young in a statement. “This resulted in Ultra Foods hiring only two females and over 65 males in over four and a half years at its Merrillville store. Compliance with the steps laid out in the consent decree will ensure that Ultra Foods' hiring of night-crew stockers adheres to the requirements of the law and more accurately represents 21st-century realities of what women can do in the workplace.”

A company spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

In May a West Chicago, Illinois, staffing agency agreed to pay $800,000 to resolve two EEOC lawsuits in which it was charged with categorizing jobs as “men's work” or “women's work,” among other charges.