WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — The Department of Labor says Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc. has agreed to hire 53 women and pay nearly $492,000 in back wages to 339 female applicants who were denied entry-level jobs at its turkey processing facility in Willmar.

The federal agency said in a statement Tuesday that the action resolves a lawsuit alleging that the country's second-largest turkey producer discriminated in its hiring practices. The agency says its review found Jennie-O's hiring processes discriminated against female applicants for laborer positions from February 2009 to February 2010.

The agency also says Jennie-O did not admit liability, but worked proactively with the agency and agreed to train its hiring personnel to ensure against discrimination going forward.

Jennie-O says it disagrees with the department's claims and is committed to a discrimination-free workplace.

More From KROC-AM