Tyson to Pay $1.6 Million in Back Wages for Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
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 2007 to 2010 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. 

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.
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