Cargill Meat Solutions has settled hiring discrimination allegations in three of its plants, including the turkey slaughter and processing facility in Springdale. The allegations were made by Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
The meat packer agreed to pay $2.2 million into a settlement fund, although the company notes it did not discriminate against any applicant and views the agencies allegations as unfounded.
"The decision to settle was not taken lightly, because we work hard every day to ensure compliance with all hiring laws, and we have an unwavering commitment to diversity and equal employment opportunity," said Cargill Senior Vice President Bill Buckner. "The plants involved in the bundled settlement include Fort Morgan, Colo. (beef); Springdale, Ark. (turkey); and Beardstown, Ill. (pork). They have diverse employee populations, representing dozens of nationalities. It's a fact we take great pride in, especially because these communities are thriving with economic prosperity that results from the diverse Cargill employee population."
OFCCP audits companies that conduct business with the U.S. government.
Buckner said the meat company was disappointed with the way OFCCP used a mathematical model to allege violation in the absence of evidence.
“We believe the agency needs to change the way it applies the law to ensure that OFCCP is not forcing employers to violate – by using quotas – the very laws the agency is supposed to be enforcing. We will continue to hire the best candidates available from those who apply for positions at our plants,” Buckner said.