Training & Compliance

Pay Discrimination Claims Still Being Enforced

Yesterday we explored how the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has recently put an emphasis on hiring and pay discrimination claims. So far this year, that has not changed.

Allegation of Discriminatory Selection

In another settlement, the OFCCP had alleged that Hospira, Inc., a government contractor, discriminated against women in violation of Executive Order 11246 when it denied jobs to 145 female applicants for pharmacy attendant positions at its McPherson, Kansas facility.

During the agency’s investigation, the OFCCP found that discriminatory selection practices resulted in qualified female applicants being hired at much lower rates than similarly qualified male applicants. The OFCCP also found that Hospira violated recordkeeping requirements by failing to preserve employment applications and interview forms.

In its conciliation agreement with the OFCCP, Hospira committed to hiring 11 female class members during the agreement’s monitoring period. The company will also pay $400,000 in back wages with interest to the 145 female job applicants who were denied positions. The company did not admit liability.

Lessons Learned

In addition to highlighting OFCCP’s concentrated focus on systemic hiring and compensation issues, these recent cases show that contracts with large numbers of applicants for entry-level positions must be vigilant in carrying out consistent, nondiscriminatory hiring practices and in documenting and maintaining records of such efforts.

In addition to the threat of high-cost settlements, the OFCCP recently launched the Class Member Locator (CML), the purpose of which is to identify applicants or workers who have been impacted by OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations and who may be entitled to a portion of monetary relief or consideration for job placement.

Potential class members in the settlements discussed in this article and other potential class members who believe they were impacted by contractor discrimination are being encouraged to contact the OFCCP for inclusion in class lawsuits.

And in 2017 …

There have been no indications that this increased amount of enforcement will decline, so far. Stay tuned for updates.