Posts Tagged ‘Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’

Auditor in Large Settlement With U.S. Labor Department in Asian Hiring Bias Complaint

KPMG, one of the world’s largest auditing firms, has entered an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination, the DOL announced today.

The agreement with KPMG LLP follows an OFCCP investigation that found from Oct. 1, 2011, to March 31, 2013, the auditing firm discriminated against 60 Asian applicants for associate audit positions at its facility in Short Hills. The agency determined that KPMG’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color or national origin.

KPMG does not acknowledge any liability. It agreed to pay $420,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to the 60 Asian applicants for associate audit positions. The company will also provide associate audit job opportunities to six affected applicants as positions become available. In addition, KPMG will take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including record-keeping and internal auditing procedures, meet legal requirements.

“Together, the department and KPMG will ensure that this issue is resolved, and that the company has the measures in place to comply with federal hiring and employment law,” said OFCCP Acting Director Thomas Dowd.

The company has contracts valued at more than $14 million with federal agencies including the U.S. departments of Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as NASA and the IRS.


DOL Budget Proposes EEOC/OFCCP Merger

President Trump is proposing a merger of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Both the OFCCP and the EEOC would be resident in the Labor Department under the proposal put forth in the DOL’s proposed budget. The blending might not be a comfortable fit considering that the two entities serve very different roles.

The EEOC investigate complaints it receives, while the OFCCP audits contractors in more systematic fashion and verifies that they take affirmative action to promote equal opportunity among their employees.

The administration argues that the merger “will reduce operational redundancies, promote efficiencies, improve services to citizens, and strengthen civil rights enforcement.”

DOL Dings Legal, Business Research Company $1.2M for Underpaying 211 Female Employees

Female employees at LexisNexis Risk Solutions got justice from the U.S. Department of Labor, which announced yesterday it has recovered $1.2 million in back pay and interest on their behalf for sex-based wage discrimination.

The victims of this alleged bias were 211 female employees at the company’s facilities in Alpharetta, Georgia and Boca Raton, Florida.

DOL said that two separate investigations by its  Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that, as of  December 2012 and continuing thereafter, LexisNexis paid 26 female employees in Operational Leadership jobs substantially less than males employed in the same jobs in Boca Raton, Florida.

OFCCP’s investigations further found that, as of December 2012, LexisNexis paid 185 female employees in Operational Leadership jobs substantially less than their male counterparts in Alpharetta, Georgia. The agency found a significant difference in pay in both locations even after taking into account legitimate factors that affect pay level. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors from engaging in compensation discrimination on the basis of sex.

LexisNexis provides computer-assisted legal and business research and risk management services. During fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the company had millions of dollars in federal contracts with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation and Labor, and the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration.

Here’s the DOL announcement of the award.

OFCCP Recovers $1.8M From Contractor that Steered Women Into Light-Duty Laborer Jobs

Private sector employers can learn what not to do in their hiring practices rom companies that have federal contracts. In this case it’s not to steer women into lower-paying jobs while reserving the better paying jobs for men.

That’s what federal contractor G&K Services Inc. did, the U.S. Department of Labor charged, announcing it has recovered $1.8 million for 444 female employees in laborer positions. According to the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces the rules for nondiscrimination in federal contracts, the company disproportionately assigned the women to lower paying job duties while filling the higher paying job duties predominantly with men, even though female employees were qualified for and able to perform the higher paying jobs.

This unlawful steering of women into the lower paying “light duty” jobs led to unlawful sex-based pay discrimination at G&K facilities in Denver; Sacramento, California; Graham and Charlotte, North Carolina; Pleasant Hill, Iowa; Justice, Illinois; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Houston and Coppell, Texas. This practice also resulted in a lower hiring rate for 2,327 male applicants who were equally or more qualified for general laborer positions at the Sacramento, Pleasant Hill, Justice, St. Paul and Coppell locations, the OFCCP found.

OFCCP also found that G&K failed to provide equal opportunity to 456 African American and 111 Caucasian applicants at its Houston and Charlotte locations when hiring for general laborer positions.

Read more about the settlement.

DOL also has complied information on other recent settlements.

OFCCP Docks Contractor $400K for Sex Bias

More than 100 women denied pharmacy attendant jobs at Hospira Inc., a Kansas-based government contractor, will share in $400,000 in backpay under a settlement agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The OFCCP said that its investigation found that discriminatory selection practices resulted in qualified female applicants being hired at much lower rates than similarly qualified male applicants. OFCCP also found that Hospira violated record-keeping requirements by failing to preserve employment applications and interview forms.

One hundred and forty five women denied jobs in favor of male applicants will share in the award.

These violations occurred while Hospira received more than $35 million in contracts for developing and manufacturing injection medications for the U.S. government, the OFCCP announcement said.

Read more about the settlement here.

OFCCP Debuts Class Member Locator

No one can accuse the federal government of not going the extra mile to find individuals who might benefit from money it has pried loose from government contractors that violate equal employment opportunity rules.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the DOL division that enforces nondiscrimination rules against federal contractors recently launched the “Class Member Locator.”

The web page describing the program states: “If you applied for a job or worked at one of the facilities below between the dates shown and believe you may be part of an affected class, contact us immediately. Upon your timely submission of additional documentation verifying that you are part of the class, you may be entitled to a portion of monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement.”

The page provides some frequently asked questions, including what/who is a class member? Included is a “class member’s story” of an individual contacted by the OFCCP, who eventually got back wages from the contractor that they had applied to and been rejected by.

Then there’s a handy-dandy chart of contractors that have agreed to settlements with OFCCP.

Count on the OFCCP to get the word out about the locator. It was mentioned in a press release today announcing recovery of $1.25 million in back wages for African Americans and women who were discriminated against when applying for who general warehouse positions at two of Fastenal Company’s distribution facilities in Indianapolis and Atlanta.

OFCCP: Underpaid Female Housekeepers to Receive $190K to Settle Wage Bias Charges

Federal contractors, take note! The U.S. Department of Labor won’t tolerate even what may seem like a miniscule difference in pay for men and performing the same jobs on federal projects.

That’s the message from a settlement that DOL reached earlier this month with the Lahey Clinic in Boston.   DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that Lahey Clinic Hospital, Inc. will pay $190,000 to resolve allegations of systemic pay discrimination at its medical center in Burlington, Massachusetts. The OFCCP said that its compliance review found that Lahey Clinic discriminated against 38 female housekeepers by paying the women 70 cents less per hour than their male counterparts.

“While 70 cents might not seem like much, over the course of a year it adds up to a $1,500 disparity,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, a member of President Obama’s National Equal Pay Task Force. “Workers don’t often know how their pay compares with that of their colleagues, and discrimination like this is often hidden. That’s why OFCCP’s ability to audit and review contractors’ pay practices is critical to closing the pay gap once and for all.”

Since 2012, the clinic–which has has more than 5,300 employees and serves almost 3,000 patients daily–has received $815,000 in federal contracts from the Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the DOL said.