The U.S. Department of Labor has settled allegations of systemic hiring discrimination by one of the world’s largest food processing companies at six of its locations in Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico after an investigation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
While not admitting liability, Tyson Foods, Inc., has agreed to pay $1.6 million in back wages, interest and benefits to 5,716 applicants rejected for laborer jobs from 2006 to 2012 at its facilities in Amarillo, Houston and Sherman, Texas; Rogers and Russellville, Arkansas; and Santa Theresa, New Mexico. The company has also agreed to extend job offers to 474 of the affected workers as positions become available, and to revise its hiring and training practices.
The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Tyson’s hiring processes and selection procedures at the six facilities violated Executive Order 11246 by discriminating on the bases of sex, race and/or ethnicity.
“Federal contractors are obligated to give every applicant a fair and equal shot at competing for good jobs,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “Tyson has agreed to fully cooperate to remedy past violations and ensure its selection practices at these facilities are in full compliance with the law. Together, we can achieve the common goal of equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants.”
Tyson Foods supplies retail and food service to customers throughout the U.S. and approximately 130 countries. With more than $15 million in federal contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the company supplies the federal government with meat products, including chicken, beef and pork.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed or disclosed their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP recently launched the Class Member Locator. The purpose of the CML is to identify applicants and/or workers who have been impacted by OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations and who may be entitled to a portion of monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement. If you applied for a laborer job between 2006 and 2012 at one or more of the Tyson facilities identified above and were not hired, you may be entitled to some relief under this conciliation agreement. Please visit OFCCP’s Class Member Locator (www.dol.gov/ofccp/CML/index.htm), which identifies applicants and/or workers who may be entitled to a portion of monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement. You can also find more information about OFCCP settlements by calling 844-438-0272.