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Press Release 09-27-2022

PFG Customized Distribution Sued by EEOC for Sex Discrimination

Food Distributor Subjected Women to Sex-based Discrimination in Hiring and Job Assignments, Federal Agency Says

INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that it filed suit against Kenneth O. Lester Company, Inc., doing business as PFG Customized Distribution – Indiana (PFG Customized Distribution), headquartered in Lebanon, Tennessee, for sex discrimination in hiring and job assignments at its Kendallville, Indiana warehouse.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that since 2018, PFG Customized Distribution has refused to hire female job applicants for order-selector positions because of their sex. The EEOC further alleged that hiring officials, other management and supervisory employees, human resources personnel, and recruiters expressly stated sex-based criteria for the order-selector position, including making statements to female applicants that the company prefers to hire men as order selectors.

The EEOC also claimed that PFG Customized Distribution discriminatorily assigned females to the small-wares section of the warehouse, where they had less earning potential.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits using sex-based criteria in employment. After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process, the EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. Kenneth O. Lester Company, Inc. d/b/a PFG Customized Distribution – Indiana, Case No. 1:22-cv-00329) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division.

The agency seeks lost wages, compensatory damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction and ongoing reporting and monitoring procedures to ensure that PFG Customized Distribution complies with the law in the future.

“This case demonstrates the EEOC’s ongoing commitment to remedying class-wide sex discrimination and eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring,” said Kenneth Bird, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “Hiring and work assignments must be based on the individual’s ability to do the job, regardless of sex.”

For more information on sex-based discrimination, please visit

The case is being litigated by the Louisville Area Office, which is part of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District, with jurisdiction over Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.