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Food Distributor To Pay $550K In Back Pay To Applicants after OFCCP Finds Hiring Discrimination

OutSolve

OFCCP continues to find alleged hiring discrimination for entry level positions at Federal contractor establishments

As we enter 2017, it remains imperative that Federal contractors conduct rigorous record keeping efforts to ensure that they have the ability to analyze their hiring practices for the purpose of identifying and correcting any disparities in the selection of applicants for hire. Women and minorities continue to be the groups with the highest rate of issues, but it would be a mistake to assume that hiring discrimination is relegated to any individual group.

Contractors are encouraged to review their ability to track appropriate applicant data and work to include meaningful disposition codes. Collecting this data can mean the difference between the ability to defend a potential claim or to have to concede guilt and pay fines due to an inability to prove that selection decisions were fairly implemented.

Consultants such as OutSolve are continuously assisting our clients with compliance consultation around the implementation of applicant tracking systems, disposition coding and record keeping needs. We consistently find that applicant tracking is a tremendous challenge for contractors large and small and that is remains the greatest area of vulnerability during an OFCCP audit.

See excerpt from OFCCP Press Release here with link to full text:

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ofccp/ofccp20161220/

FREMONT, Neb. – Hormel Foods Corp. has agreed to hire 37 women with retroactive seniority and pay $550,000 in back wages to 403 female job applicants denied entry-level production positions at its Fremont hog-processing facility. The global food manufacturer’s action resolves U.S. Department of Labor findings that the company – a large federal contractor – discriminated in hiring against women in violation of Executive Order 11246.

The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found Hormel’s selection practices discriminated against qualified female applicants for production positions from February 2008 to February 2009. In a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP also found that the company failed to keep required records related to its hiring practices. While not admitting liability, Hormel agreed to a settlement resolving these findings.

“When contractors accept federal funds, they agree to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws,” said OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “This voluntary settlement ensures Hormel’s compliance and provides a remedy for the affected applicants.”

A previous review of Jennie-O Turkey Stores, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods, resulted in a settlement on June 15, 2016 in which Jennie-O agreed to hire 53 women and pay $491,861 in back wages to 339 female applicants denied entry-level jobs at its Willmar, Minnesota, turkey processing plant.

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