Unformatted text preview: al Corporation under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 on behalf of a number of women who had applied for work but were not
hired. A jury found that Dial had engaged in a pattern or practice of intentional
discrimination against women and awarded compensatory damages, and the district
court1 concluded that Dial's use of a preemployment strength test had an unlawful
-2disparate impact on female applicants and awarded back pay and benefits. Dial
appeals from the denial of its motion for judgment as a matter of law and from the
judgment. EEOC cross appeals the denial of back pay to one claimant. We remand
one issue but otherwise affirm.
Dial is an international company with a plant located in Fort Madison, Iowa that
produces canned meats. Entry level employees at the plant are assigned to the sausage
packing area where workers daily lift and carry up to 18,000 pounds of sausage,
walking the equivalent of four miles in the process. They are required to carry
approximately 35 pounds of sausage at a time and must lift and load the sausage to
heights between 30 and 60 inches above the floor. Employees who worked in the
sausage packing area experienced a disproportionate number of injuries as compared
to the rest of the workers in the plant.
Dial implemented several measures to reduce the injury rate starting in late
1996. These included an ergonomic job rotation, institution of a team approach, 261 lowering the height of machines to decrease lifting pressure for the employees, and
conducting periodic safety audits. In 2000 Dial also instituted a strength test used to
evaluate potential employees, called the Work Tolerance Screen (WTS). In this test
job applicants were asked to carry a 35 pound bar between two frames, approximately
30 and 60 inches off the floor, and to lift and load the bar onto these frames. The
applicants were told to work at their "own pace" for seven minutes. An occupational
therapist watched the process, documented how many lifts each a...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08