Gender bias in Joslin could end company’s federal contracts

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has charged Tyson Fresh Meats with gender discrimination at its facility in Joslin.

A DOL investigation revealed that Tyson’s selection system and procedures discriminated against women seeking entry-level positions at the plant. Tyson’s actions came under scrutiny because of its status as a federal contractor. Federal contractors and subcontractors have special requirements not to discriminate based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

The stakes are high for Tyson. The government wants to cancel the company’s existing federal contracts and have Tyson debarred from future contracts until it pays lost wages, interest and benefits to a class of up to 750 women affected by the alleged discrimination.

Advice: Evaluate hiring procedures that tend to favor one gender. Your goal: Find out if you can achieve the same or better business results with a more balanced workforce. Make sure any employment tests you use are job-related and “of business necessity.” Stop using any test that doesn’t measure applicant ability to perform the job’s essential functions.

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