A local sporting goods manufacturer and distributor has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor after it allegedly discriminated against thousands of people who applied for jobs at the company’s Indianapolis production facility.
BSN Sports LLC Indianapolis, the local division of Dallas-based BSN Sports, will pay $600,000 in back pay and interest to more than 3,000 individuals it turned away from positions at the facility, according to a Dec. 17 news release from the Department of Labor.
BSN provides custom apparel and equipment services through partnerships with a variety of manufacturers, such as Nike and Under Armour. It considers itself the largest distributor of team apparel in the United States.
The company is a subsidiary of Dallas-based Varsity Brands, which also owns Varsity Cheer and Indianapolis-based Herff Jones. All three companies have close ties to various high school and collegiate sports programs in Indiana and across the United States.
The Department of Labor alleged that BSN Sports discriminated against 1,880 Black, 1,188 white and 219 male applicants for a variety of positions, including shipping and receiving, production support, packing and embroidery. An additional 311 male applicants were also found to have been discriminated against for production artist positions.
The allegations stem from a routine compliance evaluation conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. BSN is a federal contractor for the Air Force and other agencies.
“BSN Sports is working cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Labor to improve its compliance with federal law by resolving allegations of discriminatory hiring and agreeing to implement proactive measures in the hiring of applicants to production positions,” said Carmen Navarro, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Midwest regional director, in a media release.
“We appreciate this employer’s work towards reaching an agreement that will improve its training, policies and procedures.”
BSN has not admitted to wrongdoing or any of the Department of Labor’s allegations as part of the settlement agreement.
However, the company plans to make a variety of positions available to applicants who match the demographics as those it had allegedly discriminated against, including 56 black, 55 white, and nine male applicants for general production work and another four males for artist positions.
The company also plans to provide training for all who oversee hiring decisions, including managers and supervisors.
A representative for BSN did not return a call requesting comment.