Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Too Many Minority Employees?

We wonder how many companies survey their workforce and think that there is no way they could be in noncompliance with any form of employment discrimination. They might conclude that since they employ a ton of this minority and a ton of that minority and plenty of women employees, what could go wrong? Plenty, as one Government contractor found out. If you're a Government contractor, beware of "routine compliance evaluations" by OFCCP (Labor Department's Office of Federal Compliance Programs).

During one such "routine evaluation", the OFCCP observed that a Government contractor, Oldcastle Building Envelope (Oldcastle) seemingly had a significant ratio of make Hispanic employees. Upon further evaluation, the OFCCP determined that Oldcastle was discriminating against white, black, and female applicants in favor of Hispanic males. OFCCP found that Oldcastle's hiring practices violated relevant Federal laws which prohibit federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, national origin, religion, or gender.

What was the penalty for this violation? Oldcastle must pay $395 thousand in back wages and interest to "eligible class members" - presumably those who had applied but were turned down for employment based on discriminatory practices. Additionally, the company had to agree to provide job opportunities to 38 affected white makes, black males and female applicants as positions become available. Thirdly, Oldcastle must take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including recruitment, record-keeping, and internal audit procedures, comply with laws. Finally, Oldcastle must conduct anti-discriminatory training for its HR (human resources) training.

The Oldcastle settlement was the result of a routine evaluation. In other words, there was not whistleblower involved or anything else that might draw the OFCCP's attention to this company. OFCCP also actively solicits whistleblowers to come forward and report allegations of discriminatory hiring practices.

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