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News Brief

US Labor Department’s lawsuit alleges hiring discrimination at federal contractor’s beef-processing plant in Cactus, Texas

Complaint seeks back wages, jobs for applicants from JBS USA

Date of Action: Dec. 9, 2016

Type of Action: Lawsuit filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges 

Defendant(s): JBS USA Lux S.A.
Swift Beef Co.

Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor alleges that JBS USA Lux S.A. and Swift Beef Co. have systematically discriminated against qualified American Indian/Alaskan Native, African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian applicants, while favoring Asian applicants, for general production jobs at their beef processing plant in Cactus, Texas, from at least September 2007 through at least June 2010. The complaint further alleges that the discrimination may continue to the present. The full complaint can be viewed here.

Background: A compliance review by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that the Texas facility violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of race or national origin.

This is the second lawsuit OFCCP has filed with the department’s OALJ against the company. The first complaint – filed on Dec. 1, 2014, – alleges that JBS’s Hyrum, Utah, facility systematically discriminated against qualified female, Caucasian, African-American and Native American applicants seeking entry-level jobs at its beef processing plant there.

JBS USA Lux S.A. (a Luxembourg Société Anonyme) and Swift Beef Co. (a Delaware corporation) are wholly owned indirect subsidiaries of Brazilian meat processing industry giant JBS S.A. Since 2007, JBS companies have collectively received millions in federal contracts as providers of meat products to federal agencies, such as the departments of Defense and Agriculture.

Resolution: The department seeks an order requiring the defendants to provide complete relief to the affected applicants, including hiring some into general production jobs and paying back pay and interest. The department also seeks an order permanently prohibiting the defendants from violating the Executive Order, canceling all of the defendants’ federal contracts and debarring the defendants from entering into future federal contracts unless they come into compliance with the Executive Order and remedy their prior violations.

Quote: “JBS and its subsidiaries are required to comply with anti-discrimination laws that apply to federal contractors,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “We have filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.”

Docket Number: 2017-OFC-2

Information: In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed or disclosed their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
December 13, 2016
Release Number
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux