One of the world's largest chicken processors systematically discriminated against qualified African-American applicants seeking entry-level jobs as laborers and operatives at its chicken plant in Marshville, North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is alleging in an Oct. 7 lawsuit filed against Pilgrim's Pride Corporation.
"Discrimination will not be tolerated by employers who profit from government contracts," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "OFCCP will use every action available by law, including canceling Pilgrim's federal contracts if necessary, to ensure workers are treated fairly."
The complaint results from an OFCCP investigation into the company's selection procedures. This is the second lawsuit filed by OFCCP against the company in less than 30 days. The first complaint, filed on Sept. 15, alleged that Pilgrim's Pride systematically discriminated against qualified African-American, Caucasian, and female applicants for entry-level laborer and operative positions at its chicken plant in Athens, Alabama.
Both complaints were filed with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges and seek complete make-whole relief, including instatement of qualified black applicants at the chicken processing facility, payment of lost wages, interest, front wages, and other fringe benefits, including but not limited to retroactive seniority.