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OFCCP slams mozzarella producer for unfair hiring practices

Posted on September 15th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

A review by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs revealed a flaw in the pre-employment screening process of Denver-based mozzarella cheese producer Leprino Foods.

A complaint was filed earlier this month by the OFCCP, claiming that Leprino unfairly discriminated against qualified African-American, Asian and Hispanic applicants for on-call laborer positions at one of the company's facilities.

HR administration for any company should be aware of Executive Order 11246, which states that federal contractors "cannot discriminate in employment practices with regard to race and national origin. "However, a review of Leprino's job-skills assessment test revealed lopsided results."

According to the OFCCP complaint, 72 percent of non-minority applicants passed the assessment, compared to just 49 percent of "otherwise qualified" minority applicants.

"Leprino Foods' hiring process simply doesn't pass the sniff test," said OFCCP director Patricia A. Shiu. "When workers are denied employment because of factors that have nothing to do with their ability to perform the job, something is not right."

OFCCP seeks back wages and interest for at least 270 minority members and job offers for at least 17 applicants.

According to Lexology, employers that require pre-employment tests should determine if the assessment is directly related to essential job functions, and whether the results are an accurate predictor of future performance.  

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