A wood products manufacturer in Eagan, Minnesota, reached a settlement — including a $90,000 civil penalty — with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights after the company refused to hire women applicants from an employment agency, the department reported this week.

The settlement ends an ongoing investigation into the company, Villaume Industries, that began in November 2019, the department reported.

“We are pleased we were able to reach an agreement with Villaume Industries and are encouraged by how the company will begin to change its hiring practices,” Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said.

Among the requirements in the settlement, according to the department, Villaume must:

  • Recruit and hire women
  • Amend all recruitment materials to explicitly state the company welcomes and values women in the workplace
  • Establish relationships with organizations that help employers recruit qualified women
  • Provide anti-bias, cultural humility and welcoming workplace training to employees
  • Report hiring data to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights every 90 days
  • Pay a $90,000 civil penalty, settlement monitoring costs and a donation to an organization that supports the advancement of women in the workplace
  • Create, maintain and implement workplace anti-discrimination policies that comply with the Minnesota Human Rights Act