Tyson Foods settles sex discrimination cases - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tyson Foods settles sex discrimination cases

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is settling cases that allege the company turned away qualified female applicants for employment at four of its Midwest facilities.

The South Dakota based company will pay a total of $2.25 million in back wages, interest and benefits to more than 1,650 qualified female job applicants who were rejected for employment at facilities in Joslin, Ill.; West Point, Neb.; and Waterloo and Denison, Iowa.  Tyson Fresh Meats is a subsidiary of Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc., a federal contractor and one of the world's largest processors of beef and pork.  

"Companies that profit from federal contracts must not discriminate in employment decisions," said US Labor Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This settlement, one of the largest in OFCCP's history, means that women who were unfairly denied job opportunities will be compensated."

During scheduled compliance reviews of the four facilities, it was determined that Tyson Fresh Meats had violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sex.  Under the terms of the decrees, the $2.25 million settlement will be divided among the rejected female job applicants. 

Tyson also has agreed to offer jobs to at least 220 of the affected women as positions become available in Joslin, Waterloo and Denison.  The West Point plant closed in 2006. 

Finally, Tyson will undertake extensive self-monitoring and corrective measures to ensure that its employment practices fully comply with the law.

"We remain committed to treating all job applicants fairly.  Tyson has a very diverse workforce and strict policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.  We also communicate our position against discrimination through our core values and team member bill of rights," said Ken Kimbro, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Tyson.

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