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.

Source: US Department of Labor