Employment Law Blog

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Feb 08, 2012

Affirmative Action: Longshore company to pay $219,000 to settle hiring discrimination case

Affirmative ActionHiring 
JacintoPort International LLC agreed to pay $219,000 in back wages and interest to 48 African-American and 21 Caucasian job applicants who were allegedly denied employment on the basis of their race.

JacintoPort International LLC agreed to pay $219,000 in back wages and interest to 48 African-American and 21 Caucasian job applicants who were allegedly denied employment on the basis of their race. The company went through an affirmative action audit by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), resulting in a conciliation agreement in June 2006. The agreement required the company to provide periodic reports on their outreach efforts and applicant tracking. The OFCCP scrutinized the reports and found that the company, a federal contractor, was favoring Latino applicants in its hiring process. Now JacintoPort must not only pay back wages and interest to the disappointed applicants, but also offer jobs to 17 of them as positions become available and implement “extensive self-monitoring measures” (OFCCP press release, Jan. 12, 2012).

 

Tips: This settlement provides yet another example of the OFCCP’s relatively recent technique of separately analyzing the hiring rates of each racial/ethnic group, and pursuing discrimination claims not only on behalf of minorities but also Caucasians/whites. It also demonstrates the importance of clearly articulating and documenting job-related reasons for rejecting applicants, in case your decisions are challenged months or even years down the road. If you are a federal contactor with affirmative action obligations and need help with your documentation process, contact your Vigilant affirmative action representative. 
 

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