by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

The complaint was filed on 11/29/11 with the OFCCP’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (see http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20111648.htm). It alleges that Cargill “systematically discriminated against 4,069 qualified female, white, black, Hispanic and Native American applicants who sought entry-level production jobs at its Springdale facility”, and was filed after the OFCCP was unable to secure a settlement that would provide back pay and interest to rejected job applicants and extend job offers to at least 167 applicants.

According to the OFCCP, the source of the alleged discrimination is that “the company's selection criteria were subjectively and inconsistently applied.” As a result, the OFCCP alleges that women were less likely to be hired for entry level jobs than man and, more interestingly, there was systemic discrimination against whites and blacks (among others), which the OFCCP attributed to favoritism of Asian and Pacific Islanders over other racial groups.

The OFCCP is seeking cancellation of Cargill’s existing government contracts (estimated at 550 million dollars) and debarment from entering into future contracts “until the company resolves all violations and corrects its discriminatory employment practices.

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