Andersen Corp. settles discrimination claim

Andersen Corp. is settling a discrimination claim alleging the company withdrew a job offer after learning of an applicant’s disability, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced on Wednesday.

The settlement requires the Bayport-based window and door manufacturer to pay a former job applicant a year’s worth of wages and work to build a more inclusive workplace for people with disabilities, according to a press release.

“Minnesota is not in the business of excluding people from jobs because of their disability,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “The state’s civil rights law requires employers to have inclusive hiring practices, which help employers recruit applicants and foster a stronger workforce.” 

The case
MDHR found that in 2019, Andersen Corporation withdrew a job offer to an applicant at their Bayport production facility after learning of his disability. 

The company claimed that it withdrew the offer because the applicant could not safely operate a forklift. However, operating a forklift was not an essential function of the job. 

Furthermore, MDHR found that the applicant could safely operate a forklift, a fact that was confirmed by his doctor. When the applicant provided medical documentation to Andersen Corporation and asked them to reconsider his employment, the company again refused to hire him. 

MDHR found that the employer’s alleged justification for rescinding the job offer was false. MDHR’s investigation concluded that Andersen Corporation refused to hire the applicant because of his disability, in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the state’s civil rights law.   

Settlement Agreement 
To help prevent future discrimination, the settlement agreement requires Andersen Corporation to:

  • Audit all manufacturing positions at Minnesota-based production facilities so they accurately reflect the actual job functions of each role. 
  • Create and enforce a policy so applicants can appeal a decision to rescind a job offer. 
  • Provide all employees with anti-discrimination training, including disability-related topics. 
  • The agreement also requires Andersen Corporation to pay the former applicant $41,000. 

MDHR will monitor the company for three years to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).