Following allegations of discriminatory hiring procedures, cheese manufacturer Leprino Foods Inc. consented to settle the accusations, according to a Denver Business Journal report.
The Denver, Colo.-based company met with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The result determined that the company had indeed discriminated against blacks, Asians and Hispanics during its hiring practices. The executive order violated applies to federal contractors and subcontractors, the Journal says.
The discrimination charges were the result of a pre-employment test, WorkKeys, used at its Lemoore, Calif., plant. The test was used to choose on-call laborers, but the Labor Department determined that the test was discriminatory because it tested skills that were not job-related, such as math.
The company must pay more than $500,000 in back wages, interest and benefits to 253 minority workers not hired because of the WorkKeys test during the time period from January 2005 to October 2006. Additionally, the company will no longer use the WorkKeys test, and it will hire 13 of the original rejected candidates.
Since 2005, Leprino Foods has supplied the federal government with mozzarella and other dairy products for contracts of nearly $50 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.