Wood products company fined $90,000 for ‘not hiring women’; must embark on reforms

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EAGAN, Minnesota- The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDH) has fined wood truss manufacturer Villaume Industries $90,000 for allegedly refusing to hire women.

The MDH opened an investigation into Villaume in November 2019 after receiving complaints that the company was refusing to accept female job applicants from an employment agency. After the investigation, the MDH found that Villaume had no women working in entry-level production jobs.

Villaume agreed to settle. In addition to the fine, the company must:

  • Hire at least one qualified woman for every three employees in its applicant stream over the next two years
  • Implement annual anti-bias and “cultural humility” training for employees and managers
  • Change recruitment materials to explicitly state that the company welcomes and values ​​women
  • Report hiring data every 90 days for the next four years
  • Donate $5,000 (part of the $90,000 fine) to an organization that supports the advancement of women in the workplace

Villaume was founded in 1882 by Eugène Villaume and has been a family business for four generations. The company is a manufacturer of wood trusses for new residential and commercial construction and custom wood crates, boxes and pallets.

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