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2008-06-12

Perdue Farms Statement on Settlement with Department of Labor


Perdue Farms Incorporated has resolved a disagreement with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) over employment practices involving three locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. To avoid costly and protracted litigation, Perdue has agreed to pay more than $800,000 to 750 women and minorities who were not hired during the time periods at issue and to make employment offers to some of those individuals who are still interested in working for the company.

In 2005 and 2006, the OFCCP conducted compliance evaluations of Perdue’s poultry plants in Rockingham, North Carolina; Dillon, South Carolina; and Monterey, Tennessee.  Based on its statistical analyses, the federal agency subsequently alleged the company discriminated against certain female and minority job applicants for production positions.  Perdue officials denied OFCCP’s allegations on the basis that many applicants were unqualified for employment or withdrew from consideration for employment.  However, Perdue’s desire to avoid protracted litigation with OFCCP over issues involving the selection of production employees led the company to negotiate a favorable settlement with OFCCP. 

Perdue Farms has implemented new procedures to ensure the company retains all relevant documentation of its selection processes and is also conducting training of its human resources staff to assure appropriate implementation of Perdue’s hiring and employment practices. 

“Perdue is committed to treating all job applicants fairly.  We regret we did not more carefully document our hiring process for production associates, which led to these concerns by the OFCCP and, ultimately, to this settlement,” said Rob Heflin, vice president of Human Resources for Perdue Foods. “Perdue has strict workplace fairness policies and regularly-audited procedures to assure they are being followed.”   

The OFCCP is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration.  The agency is responsible for ensuring that employers doing business with the federal government comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

 

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