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The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats Inc. has agreed to settle findings of hiring discrimination against 157 African-American and 375 Caucasian applicants for laborer positions at the company's bacon processing plant in Vernon, Texas.
"The Labor Department is committed to leveling the playing field for all workers," said OFCCP director Patricia A. Shiu. "A company that profits from taxpayer dollars must not discriminate, period."
OFCCP investigators found that African-American and Caucasian applicants were less likely to be hired than similarly situated Hispanic applicants over a two-year period.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats will pay a total of $560,000 in back pay and interest to the 532 applicants. Additionally, the company will make job offers to 59 of the 532 eligible class members as laborer positions become available and revise the practices, policies and procedures it uses to recruit, track and hire applicants to fully comply with the law and immediately correct discriminatory practices.
This agreement follows litigation by OFCCP involving two other subsidiaries of Tyson Foods Inc. In 2008, a Labor Department administrative law judge found that TNT Crust in Green Bay, Wis., systematically discriminated against Hispanic applicants in its hiring. In September 2010, OFCCP filed an administrative complaint against a Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Joslin, Ill., for systematically rejecting female applicants seeking entry-level positions.
OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 that prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency monitors federal contractors to ensure that they provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status.