FREMONT, Neb. – Hormel Foods Corp. has agreed to hire 37 women with retroactive seniority and pay $550,000 in back wages to 403 female job applicants denied entry-level production positions at its Fremont hog-processing facility. The global food manufacturer’s action resolves U.S. Department of Labor findings that the company – a large federal contractor – discriminated in hiring against women in violation of Executive Order 11246.
The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found Hormel’s selection practices discriminated against qualified female applicants for production positions from February 2008 to February 2009. In a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP also found that the company failed to keep required records related to its hiring practices. While not admitting liability, Hormel agreed to a settlement resolving these findings.
“When contractors accept federal funds, they agree to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws,” said OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “This voluntary settlement ensures Hormel’s compliance and provides a remedy for the affected applicants.”
A previous review of Jennie-O Turkey Stores, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods, resulted in a settlement on June 15, 2016 in which Jennie-O agreed to hire 53 women and pay $491,861 in back wages to 339 female applicants denied entry-level jobs at its Willmar, Minnesota, turkey processing plant.
Since the current review began, Hormel and its subsidiaries have received federal contracts as a food supplier to the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Defense. The company produces meat and poultry items – including frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable products – distributed throughout the country. The Fremont facility processes hogs for various Hormel products.
Based in Austin, Minnesota, Hormel Foods Corp. is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of food and meat products for consumers globally. The company has 14 main manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and 20,000 employees worldwide. Its subsidiaries’ products are sold under the Applegate, Cytosport, Dan’s Prize, Farmer John, Hormel Foods International, Jennie-O and MegaMax Foods brands.
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 http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP recently launched the Class Member Locator. The purpose of the CML is to identify applicants and/or workers who have been impacted by OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations and who may be entitled to monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement. If you think you may be a class member who applied to Hormel’s Fremont facility between February 2008 and February 2009, please visit our website at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/CML/index.htm, where you can also find information about other recent OFCCP settlements, or call 877-716-9783.