GREELEY, Colo. – A consent decree agreed to by officials at JBS USA settled two cases of alleged hiring discrimination at the meat processing company’s beef-processing plants in Cactus, Texas and Hyrum, Utah. According to a Nov. 16 announcement by the US Dept. of Labor, the company will pay $4 million in back wages and other relief to more than 12,600 members of the class action in addition to hiring 1,664 of them.

While agreeing to the settlement, JBS denies any wrongdoing or liability in the cases before DOJ judges accusing JBS of discriminating against female, black, white, Hispanic and Native American applicants seeking general production jobs at the two plants.

“As one of the most diverse organizations in America, with more than 80 proud nationalities represented in our 65,000 U.S. employee base, discrimination is simply not a part of the JBS USA culture,” said Chris Gaddis, head of human resources with JBS USA.

The consent decree requires JBS USA and its poultry subsidiary, Pilgrim’s Pride, to work with a third-party consultant to ensure its hiring practices for general laborers at its plants are not discriminatory. 

As part of the settlement, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and JBS also committed to a five-year partnership to ensure the company’s compliance with an Equal Employment Opportunity-based executive order and to create a positive relationship between the agency and the company.

“While we vehemently deny the government’s allegations, we believe more can be accomplished through partnership and we welcome the opportunity to embark on a new, first-of-its-kind, public-private partnership with OFCCP to continue our legacy of providing meaningful equal employment opportunities,” Gaddis said.