US Department of Labor and OFCCP Settle Sex Discrimination Case for $2.25 Million

September, 2011


Yes, $2.25 million. Tyson Fresh Meats is a federal contractor and, during an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP”) compliance review, the auditors found that Tyson Fresh Meats had violated Executive Order 11246, which is one of the regulations covering all federal contractors. E.O. 11246 specifically prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sex.

Tyson Fresh Meats is paying $2.25 million to cover back wages, interest and benefits to more than 1,650 qualified female job applicants who were rejected for employment. This amount does not include any fines or penalties, as the OFCCP does not have authority to issue anything but "make whole” relief. In addition to this settlement amount, the company has agreed to offer employment to at least 220 of the qualified female applicants who were affected by the discriminatory hiring practices (as open positions become available).

On top of the monetary settlement, Tyson will be required to complete extensive self-monitoring and reporting to show that its employment practices comply with the law, a very typical result for any federal contractor who has been found to be in violation of the regulations. The finding is not only expensive, but also very time consuming.

This is not the first time Tyson Foods Inc. has had similar findings of discrimination. Last year, the OFCCP settled a case with one of the company's subsidiaries when they found the company had discriminated against Latino and Caucasian applicants.

This result is a reminder to all companies, not just federal contractors, that discrimination based on race does not only include traditional "minority” races.

To see the full news release from the Department of Labor, go to: www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20110799.htm.

 

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