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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OFCCP News Release: [10/20/2011]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 11-1521-DAL

Federal contractor Caviness Beef Packers agrees to pay $600,000 to applicants to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination

746 applicants in Amarillo and Hereford, Texas, affected

AMARILLO, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced that federal contractor Caviness Beef Packers Ltd., doing business as Palo Duro Meat Processing Inc. in Amarillo and Caviness Packing Co. in Hereford, has agreed to a settlement resolving findings that the company discriminated against job applicants on the bases of race and gender by rejecting them for positions at the company's two meat processing facilities.

"The law is clear," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Discrimination will not be tolerated by employers who profit from lucrative government contracts. We are committed to protecting workers from discrimination, including the hundreds of qualified white, black, Asian and female job seekers involved in this case."

OFCCP conducted scheduled compliance reviews of both plants, which found that the company had violated Executive Order 11246 by failing to meet its obligations as a federal contractor to ensure that qualified job applicants receive equal consideration for employment without regard to their sex, race, color, religion or national origin. Caviness holds contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in excess of $20 million.

Under the conciliation agreement, Amarillo-based Caviness Beef Packers will pay $600,000 to the 746 identified class members, including back wages and interest, and extend at least 81 offers of employment as positions become available. Additionally, the company agreed to revise its selection process for production positions to avoid future violations of its equal employment opportunity obligations.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 1-800-397-6251. Additional information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.