Jennie-O – Gender Discrimination

Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc. the wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation will be paying $492K in back wages to 339 female applicants after the US Labor Department’s investigation found hiring discrimination. It was recently found that the Minn. based company discriminated against qualified female applicants who were looking for jobs at the company from February 2009 to February 2010. Jennie-O disproportionately granted interviews to men over women applicants during one phase of the hiring process. This led to the hiring discrimination against qualified women applicants over the one year period between 2009 and 2010.

Aside from the $492K in back wages and interest that the company will pay as part of the settlement, they will hire 53 women out of the eligible pool. Eligibility requires the women to have applied for one of the entry level jobs during the documented period. The DOL will be sending notification letter to the women informing them of the job opportunity.

The company has disagreed with the DOL’s finding, but agreed to settle to avoid costly litigation and move forward with their business.

“Discrimination can be prevented when employers have non-discriminatory selection procedures in place and make certain that they are followed,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program Director, Patricia A. Shiu.