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Tyson Foods Inc. on September 15 provided a statement from Ken Kimbro, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, in response to a discrimination claim by the Department of Labor, OFCCP, against the company’s Joslin, Ill., beef plant.
“We’re disappointed the Department of Labor has taken this course of action. Contrary to the impression left by the government’s allegation, it is our policy to provide a work environment free from unlawful discrimination.
“We believe this is really about documentation, not discrimination. The OFCCP’s charges are solely based on an audit of job application forms at the plant, not on complaints by anyone who came to us seeking a job. We believe there were legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons certain applicants were not hired.
“Since the OFCCP’s audit was conducted in 2003 and 2004, Tyson has since put procedures in place to ensure that it retains documentation to support its selection decisions. We also routinely audit our practices to ensure there are not disparities against female or minority job applicants.
“During the time period covered by the OFCCP review, minorities represented 66 percent of the workforce at the Joslin plant while women represented 28 percent.
“We have a history of working cooperatively with the OFCCP and intend to continue that relationship. Tyson has a very diverse workforce and strict policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. We remain committed to treating all job applicants fairly. We also communicate our position against discrimination through our core values and our team member bill of rights.”