Koch Foods Settlement of EEOC Litigation

by Jim Gilliland 423.227.8206 | Aug 12, 2019

Koch Foods would like to set the record straight and present facts regarding the settlement of the EEOC litigation that need to be known.

In July 2018, Koch Foods settled cases with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and individual plaintiffs dating back to 2009.  Koch Foods has long maintained that these cases involved numerous contrived and fabricated allegations of mistreatment.  At no time has Koch Foods admitted guilt or wrongdoing in this matter.

Koch Foods vigorously defended the cases, including an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit regarding the extent to which Koch Foods could discover U visa information related to the alleged aggrieved individuals. U visas provide work authorization to individuals who have been victims of certain crimes.  

Koch Foods contended throughout these cases that plaintiffs fabricated allegations of mistreatment as part of a coordinated effort to obtain valuable work authorizations through U visas.  The Fifth Circuit permitted Koch Foods to obtain certain discovery of U visa information from the plaintiffs.  The case settled before that discovery was conducted. The very charges being alleged against Koch Foods were the same as those that a victim would have had to happen to them to qualify for a U Visa.

Koch Foods has nine months of video surveillance of the plant analyzed by a third party to review for the alleged activity and no such activity was in evidence on the video.

While Koch Foods felt strongly that these cases were fabrications, Koch’s CEO Joseph Grendys made the decision to settle. The Company had spent almost ten years and millions of dollars defending this action.  To further contest the matter would have cost untold additional millions of dollars. A strict business decision was made to settle rather than continue to fight an entity of the U.S. Government with unlimited resources.  In hindsight, “that is a decision that I would not have made,” said Joseph Grendys.  “I would have spent the money to have my day in court and bring forth these facts,” reiterated Grendys.

As part of the settlement, Koch Foods set up a confidential hotline to field complaints from employees and to date no complaints as alleged in this matter have been received.

Koch Foods has voluntarily utilized the Department of Homeland Security’s E-verify system or its predecessor confirmation system for more than 10 years to ensure that it only hires authorized workers.

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