Tyson Foods Settles Sex Discrimination Case - How to Protect Your Organization
According to a recent news release from the US Labor Department, more than 1650 qualified female applicants were denied jobs at 4 Midwest plants and Tyson Fresh Meats will have to pay $2.25 million in back wages, interest and benefits to settle allegations of sex discrimination. Tyson is a federal contractor and one of the largest processors of beef and pork. As part of the settlement, Tyson will offer jobs to 220 of the affected women as positions become available.
“Companies that profit from federal contracts must not discriminate in employment decisions,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “today’s settlement, one of the largest in OFCCP’s history, means that women who were unfairly denied job opportunities will be compensated.”
This kind of story really boggles the mind and makes you wonder how something like this can really happen. Were Tyson’s hiring practices that sloppy or did they really target hiring men over women? It’s hard to say because poor internal practices can paint an inaccurate picture of an organization’s intent which is difficult to defend without good documentation.
5 Ways to Protect Your Organization
1. Equality in Hiring
The first and most important thing to do to protect your organization is to ensure that your hiring practices are fair and without bias. This means establishing a process that is used consistently with all job applications. If every applicant goes through the same process it becomes easier to screen and identify the most qualified applicant. Ensuring testing, reference checks and personal interviews are done can help create the “data” needed to justify a hiring decision.
2. Employee Training
Employees who have responsibility for the hiring process need to be trained on internal policies and procedures and need to be held accountable for following established hiring protocol. Policies and procedures are only as effective as the employees who have responsibility for performing them and employees need to have the proper training on expected practices.