Ferrara accused of employment discrimination against minorities

Candy lovers in California may be familiar with popular candies such as Red Hots and Lemonheads that are produced by Ferrara Candy Company. The candy producer is being accused of employment discrimination along with two temporary staffing agencies. All three companies have recently agreed to settle the class action lawsuit against them.

The staffing agencies, Labor Power and Remedial Environmental Manpower, or REM, allegedly denied work to black applicants at the request of Ferrara for one of its facilities. The agencies were instead instructed to hire Latino workers. The alleged discriminatory decision making was apparently upsetting to local community groups, and protests were conducted outside two of Ferrara's facilities.

Payment for the $1.5 million settlement was divided among the three defendants. The breakdown of what each company will pay is as follows: Ferrara, $1 million; REM, $50,000; and Labor Power, $450,000. The judge who approved the settlement may allow individuals to be paid up to $7,500 each. There are approximately 1,100 people who may receive this additional money.

Ferrara contends that, although it has agreed to settle the employment discrimination lawsuit, no wrongdoing was committed. The company made a statement that both applicants and employees are treated fairly and respectfully. Individuals in California who perceive they are being victimized during the hiring process based on a legally protected status can file claims against their prospective employers through the civil court system. Successful claims may result in the individuals receiving compensation or other relief as awarded by the court. Lawsuits such as this one are a constant reminder to all companies that discrimination is not acceptable.

Source: wbez.org, "Maker of Lemonheads and Red Hots settles race-discrimination lawsuit", Chip Mitchell, Dec. 21, 2015

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