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Nash Finch Sued by U.S. for Labor Discrimination, Wages Sought

Nash Finch Co., the nation’s second-largest wholesale food distributor, was sued for discriminating against women by the U.S. Labor Department, which sought back wages and offers for more than 80 jobs.

The Minneapolis-based company, which services more than 200 U.S. military bases under a federal contract, was accused of acting against more than 80 woman who failed to get hired at a plant in Lumberton, North Carolina, the agency said today in a statement. The company didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Nash Finch has settled three discrimination cases brought by the U.S. at operations in Virginia, Minnesota and Nebraska during the past decade, the agency said. The department found “serious violations of the law” at each plant related to recordkeeping and hiring discrimination, and said the company’s policies put woman, minorities and veterans at a disadvantage when they seek jobs with the company.

“It is unacceptable that a company which profits from lucrative federal contracts would repeatedly violate the law in this manner,” said Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. “The American taxpayer should not have to bankroll this company’s bad behavior.”

Nash Finch fell 28 cents to $36.09 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

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