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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Tyson Foods Inc. has agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle federal allegations of hiring discrimination at six plants in Arkansas, New Mexico and Texas.

The U.S. Labor Department announced the settlement Tuesday after previously alleging the Springdale, Arkansas-based company’s hiring processes and selection procedures at the six plants discriminated on the basis of sex, race or ethnicity.

The company did not admit liability. It agreed to pay back wages, interest and benefits to 5,716 applicants who were turned down for jobs as laborers from 2006 to 2012 at plants in Rogers and Russellville, Arkansas; Santa Theresa, New Mexico; and Amarillo, Houston and Sherman, Texas.

The company also said it would extend job offers to 474 of the affected workers as positions become available, and to revise its hiring and training practices.

 The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Tyson’s hiring processes and selection procedures at the six facilities violated Executive Order 11246 by discriminating on the bases of sex, race and/or ethnicity.  

 “Federal contractors are obligated to give every applicant a fair and equal shot at competing for good jobs,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “Tyson has agreed to fully cooperate to remedy past violations and ensure its selection practices at these facilities are in full compliance with the law. Together, we can achieve the common goal of equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants.” 

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