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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

July 2012 Events and News

Back Pay and Job Offers to 253 Minority Applicants as Leprino Foods Settles Discrimination Case with US Labor Department

Leprino Foods Inc, one of the largest producers of mozzarella cheese in the world, has entered into a consent decree to settle allegations of systemic hiring discrimination. As result, 253 qualified Asian, Hispanic and African-American job applicants who were rejected for employment at the company's Lemoore West facility will share $550,000 in back wages, interest and benefits.

The consent decree resolves OFCCP's allegations that Leprino Foods' use of a pre-employment test called WorkKeys to select hires for on-call laborer positions resulted in discrimination. OFCCP's investigation found that the WorkKeys exam was not job-related and disproportionately screened out minority job applicants based on skills that were not critical to the entry-level tasks actually performed by on-call laborers. "While employers can and should hire the most qualified workers for the job, they cannot create artificial barriers to employment that unfairly block any individual from competing for good jobs," said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu.

Under the terms of the consent decree, Leprino has agreed to discontinue use of the test for this purpose, undertake extensive self-monitoring measures, hire at least 13 of the original class members and immediately correct any discriminatory practices.

Read the Labor Department's news release in English and en Español for more information.