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Sunoco, Tyson Settle Complaints

February 29, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Petroleum refiner Sunoco Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. will pay workers to settle discrimination complaints, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Sunoco will give $204,698 in back pay and interest to 15 women executives at its Philadelphia headquarters to resolve pay discrepancies between them and men who do the same work.

The 14 women involved who still work for the company will also receive $45,000 in current salary adjustments. They work as financial analysts, sales coordinators, accountants and in procurement.

In addition, Sunoco has agreed to use a standard beginning salary policy.

``It’s absolutely imperative that women are paid as much as men with similar responsibilities,″ Labor Secretary Alexis Herman said. ``Companies may not realize they have a pattern of pay discrimination and we urge them to audit their own records to be certain all of their employees are paid fairly.″

Tyson Foods will pay $210,000 in back pay and interest to 859 women and $20,000 to 10 blacks who were not hired at the company’s Forest, Miss., poultry plant. The government said it had found evidence of hiring discrimination at the plant between Jan. 1, 1996, and June 30, 1997.

Tyson also has offered the rejected applicants jobs, which 183 have taken.

Both companies are federal government contractors and the complaints against them stemmed from reviews of their personnel policies by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces equal employment opportunity, nondiscrimination and affirmative action rules.

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