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LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW — 08/05/09

Kraft Foods Global to pay $227,500 to settle hiring test bias allegations —OFCCP NEWS

Kraft Foods Global, Inc (Kraft) has entered into a consent decree to settle allegations by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of hiring discrimination against 193 minority class members for the position of plant laborer at a Kraft facility in Garland, Texas. According to a July 28, 2009, statement issued by the OFCCP, during a scheduled compliance evaluation of the facility, OFCCP investigators determined that the company discriminated by using pre-employment tests which resulted in an adverse impact against minority applicants for the plant laborer position. The OFCCP determined that there was insufficient evidence of validity to support Kraft's use of these tests. Kraft has discontinued its use of these tests in the hiring process.

Under the terms of the consent decree findings and order approved by Chief Administrative Law Judge John M. Vittone, Kraft will pay 193 minority applicants $227,500 in back pay and interest and will provide 2 plant laborer positions to the class members. The company, which is headquartered in Northfield, Illinois, has also agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law and immediately correct any discriminatory practice.

“This administration is committed to ensuring that Americans are hired, promoted and compensated fairly, without regard to their race, sex, ethnicity, disability, religion or veteran status,” said Joan Sessoms Ford, the OFCCP’s regional director in Dallas. “We strongly encourage other employers to take proactive steps to come into compliance with the law to prevent workplace discrimination.”

The OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246 and other laws requiring federal contractors and sub-contractors to implement affirmative action programs and to guarantee equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, gender, disability, or covered veteran status. As a condition of receiving federal contracts, Kraft is subject to the equal employment opportunity and affirmative action laws enforced by the OFCCP.

For more information on this and other topics, consult CCH Employment Practices Guide or CCH Labor Relations.

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