Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Dec 30, 2013

Affirmative Action: Construction contractor nailed for hiring discrimination

Affirmative Action 

A federal construction contractor’s hiring procedures unfairly discriminated against minority applicants for apprentice and electrician jobs, according to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Following an affirmative action audit by the OFCCP, construction contractor M.C. Dean agreed to pay $875,000 in back wages and interest to be shared by 381 African American, Hispanic, and Asian American applicants. As a result of the case, the company will extend 39 job offers as positions become available, train its personnel, and periodically report its compliance to the agency.

Tips: Affirmative action rules require federal contractors to ensure their hiring processes are nondiscriminatory. If a selection procedure (such as an interview, test, or background check) disproportionately impacts applicants of a particular race/ethnicity or gender, the OFCCP can demand verification that the procedure is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The agency takes a particularly critical line with formal employment tests, and may ask whether they have been professionally validated. To determine whether any portion of your selection process has an adverse impact, you first have to consistently document the stage in your hiring process in which each unsuccessful applicant was knocked out, and the reason why. If you use Vigilant to prepare your annual written affirmative action plan, your Vigilant affirmative action representative can help you establish a list of consistent “applicant disposition reasons” to fit your hiring process. To learn more about Vigilant’s AAP services contact us, visit our website, or view our brochure.

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