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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [12/16/2014]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Email:
Petterson.Diana@dol.gov or Rodriguez.Juan@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-2154-DEN

US Labor Department files lawsuit alleging systemic hiring discrimination at beef-processing plant in Hyrum, Utah

Complaint seeks back wages and job offers from JBS USA

HYRUM, Utah — JBS USA systematically discriminated against qualified female, Caucasian, African American and Native American applicants seeking entry-level jobs at its beef-processing plant in Hyrum, a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleged. Filed with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges, the complaint followed an OFCCP investigation, which also found JBS failed to perform in-depth analyses of its employment processes to determine if impediments to equal employment opportunity existed, as required in JBS's federal contracts and by OFCCP regulations.

OFCCP's review of the facility's compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of sex, race or national origin, found that in 2005 and 2006, the facility's selection criteria were inconsistently applied. Investigators determined that the hiring process unfairly discriminated against women who applied for jobs as laborers. OFCCP also found that in 2008 and 2009, the company discriminated against Caucasians, African Americans and Native Americans who applied for these positions.

"JBS Chairman Wesley Batista proudly notes that the company his father started in Brazil nearly half a century ago is a leader in quality and a leader in service," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "However, to do business with the U.S. government, you must be a leader in equal opportunity, too. OFCCP will use every tool available to us, including canceling a company's federal contracts if necessary, to ensure workers are treated fairly."

Based in Greeley, Colorado, JBS USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazilian meat-processing giant JBS S.A. in São Paulo. In July 2007, JBS purchased Swift and Co., previous owner of the Hyrum plant. From 2005 to 2009, JBS and Swift collectively received more than $140 million in federal contracts as providers of meat, poultry and seafood to agencies, such as the departments of Defense and Agriculture.

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. Collectively, these three laws >require contractors and subcontractors that do business with the federal government to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and status as a protected veteran. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

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OFCCP v. JBS USA Holdings Inc., et al
Case Number: 2015-OFC-00001