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story.lead_photo.caption Signs are displayed at the Cargill turkey processing plant in Springdale, Ark., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. - Photo by AP / Danny Johnston

Cargill Meat Solutions will pay $2.2 million in back wages and interest to 2,959 applicants who were rejected for production jobs at the company's plant in Springdale, as well as facilities in Colorado and Illinois, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Female applicants were discriminated against in Springdale and Fort Morgan, Colo., according to the news release. Also affected were Caucasian, Hispanic and black applicants at other facilities, according to the news release.

The applicants to the Springdale facility are eligible for a total of $615,000, according to the news release.

“This settlement will benefit thousands of workers who were subjected to unfair discrimination,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in the news release. “And it demonstrates the Department of Labor’s commitment to ensuring that everybody has a fair and equal shot at competing for good jobs.”

Cargill will also offer 354 jobs to the affected applicants as jobs open up, according to the news release.

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