Pilgrim's Pride settles D.O.L. suit

by Keith Nunes
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PITTSBURG, TEXAS — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., one of the largest poultry processors in the United States, has entered into two consent decrees to settle allegations made by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (O.F.F.C.C.P.) that the company engaged in hiring discrimination over a two-year period. As part of the settlements, Pilgrim’s Pride has agreed to pay $1 million on behalf of 5,300 applicants who allegedly were discriminated against.

"The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that people seeking employment with federal contractors and subcontractors are hired, promoted and compensated fairly, without regard to their race, sex, ethnicity, disability, religion or veteran status," said Charles E. James Sr., O.F.C.C.P. deputy assistant secretary.

A statement released by Pilgrim’s Pride, said "the company strongly denies that it in any way acted unlawfully or unfairly in selecting individuals for laborer positions, noting there were legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons why the applicants were not hired."

Avoiding costs and the time associated with litigation were cited by Pilgrim’s Pride as reasons it entered into the consent decrees.

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