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Feds Sue Meatpacking Company for Discrimination at Utah Plant

Photo courtesy Meat Processors Directory

The federal government is suing a meatpacking company, saying it discriminated against qualified job applicants at its plant in Hyrum, Utah. JBS USA based in Colorado is accused of discriminating against female, African-American, American Indian, as well as Caucasian applicants seeking entry-level jobs.

A US Labor Department spokesperson told KUER that the agency is asking a judge to cancel the company’s federal contracts until JBS addresses the discrimination. The company has over $1.5 million in such contracts. The Labor Department has also asked the judge to order the company to compensate affected workers for lost wages, benefits, and job offers from the period of 2005 to 2009 when the alleged discrimination occurred.

Officials at JBS did not respond to a request for comment. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazilian meat-processing giant JBS S.A. The plant in Hyrum was among six meat processing plants across the country raided by immigration officials in 2006, resulting in a total of about 1300 arrests. At that time it was owned by Swift and Company. JBS purchased it in 2007.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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