OFCCP settles allegations of race, gender, and disability discrimination
Three federal contractors recently signed conciliation agreements with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to resolve claims of employment discrimination.
The reasons varied (race, gender, and disability), but each resulted in a financial settlement. Here are the highlights:
Race discrimination: During an affirmative action audit of Compass Group USA’s Morrison Sector in Mobile, Alabama, the OFCCP determined that the company’s hiring process for service worker positions discriminated against black applicants. The company, which offers food services to health care organizations, agreed to pay $29,921.16, which will be shared by the 189 qualified black applicants who weren’t hired. The company also agreed to extend job offers to 8 of the candidates as positions become available (conciliation agreement signed 3/2/17).
Gender discrimination: In another affirmative action audit, the OFCCP found unexplained differences in pay between similarly situated male and female employees at Land O’Lakes, Inc.’s facility in Shoreview, Minnesota. The agency found that female livestock production specialists were paid less than their male counterparts. The company agreed to pay $42,000 which will be shared by the 14 women who were affected (conciliation agreement signed 3/20/17).
Disability discrimination: A security guard for American Ordnance, a munitions manufacturer in Middletown, Iowa, complained to OFCCP that the company didn’t accommodate his disability and terminated him. During its investigation the OFCCP determined that another disabled security guard who had voluntarily left employment wasn’t accommodated during his time with the company. The company agreed to pay $50,000 to the two former employees. It also agreed to revise its procedures on reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. The company will notify employees how to request accommodations and will train supervisors on the ADA (3/27/17 press release and conciliation agreement).
Tips: The OFCCP has been operating without an official director since Patricia Shiu stepped down in November 2016 after seven years leading the agency. It will likely be in the summer or fall of this year that her successor is appointed. In the meantime, the agency is operating on autopilot, continuing to conduct intensive, lengthy affirmative action audits and to investigate complaints using the procedures established by Director Shiu. We anticipate that new leadership may pick up the pace of audits (delving less deeply but selecting more companies for review), but that remains to be seen. Vigilant will keep members informed.
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