Employment Law Blog

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Apr 11, 2018

Federal contractors settle with OFCCP

Affirmative ActionHarassment & DiscriminationHiring 

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted more settlements online, after employers with federal contracts agreed to settle allegations of discrimination in pay and hiring. The OFCCP had conducted affirmative action audits of the contractors. The companies below denied the agency’s allegations but eventually agreed to pay significant sums without admitting liability. The money will be distributed to affected workers.

  • Humana Inc. a health insurance company, agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve allegations of pay discrimination against women at its corporate headquarters location in Louisville, Kentucky. The OFCCP alleged that 753 women were paid less in base salary than similarly situated men in the positions of applications consultant, consultant, manager, and project manager. The company also agreed to conduct a fresh pay analysis in April 2019 and April 2020 and report the data and results to the OFCCP (press release and conciliation agreement signed 3/19/18).
  • Fastenal Company agreed to pay $250,000 to settle allegations of hiring discrimination at its warehouse in Denton, Texas. The OFCCP found that the company discriminated against 291 qualified female applicants, 258 qualified black applicants, and 170 qualified Hispanic applicants who were rejected for part-time laborer positions. The company also agreed to extend job offers to 55 of the rejected applicants as positions come open (conciliation agreement signed 3/5/18).
  • GGNSC Omaha Hallmark LLC and a successor company, Omaha Metro Care and Rehabilitation, agreed to pay $125,000 to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination at an Omaha, Nebraska facility which offers short term care, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and nursing care. The OFCCP determined that the companies discriminated against 149 white and 21 Hispanic applicants who were rejected for certified nurse assistant positions. (The agency found that black applicants were favored in the hiring process.) Omaha Metro Care and Rehabilitation agreed to offer jobs to 15 of the disappointed applicants and to monitor its selection and placement procedures (conciliation agreement signed 2/21/18).
  • Marriott St. Louis West (owned by TPG Hotels) agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination in St. Louis, Missouri. An OFCCP audit found that the hotel discriminated against 168 black applicants who applied for housekeeping and banquet server positions and were not hired (conciliation agreement signed 2/21/18).
  • Birds Eye, a frozen vegetable producer in Darien, Wisconsin, will pay $1,008,878 to resolve allegations of discrimination in hiring, placement, and housing. The OFCCP alleged that the company discriminated on the basis of gender and race/ethnicity when it rejected 423 qualified female applicants for full-time and seasonal laborer jobs; rejected 603 qualified Hispanic seasonal employees who applied for full–time laborer positions; and denied housing subsidies to 9 qualified migrant female employees. The company agreed to offer 7 full-time jobs and 16 seasonal jobs to affected female applicants. The company also agreed to offer 38 full-time jobs to its seasonal Hispanic employees and to reimburse housing subsidies for 9 migrant female employees (conciliation agreement signed 12/20/17).

Tips: Many OFCCP affirmative action audits (compliance evaluations) have been bogged down for years as the agency makes voluminous information requests and analyzes mountains of data. Informal reports indicate that Ondray Harris, the new Director of OFCCP, is aiming to resolve all open audits that are more than 1,000 days old. From there, he hopes to target those that are more than 700 days old, and then turn to those that are more than 300 days old. Ultimately, his goal is for the agency to complete audits within 6 months if possible. If the agency is able to move forward and achieve these targets, we expect the frequency and pace of audits to increase substantially.

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