Monday, July 9, 2012

Two Million Problems but a Lawsuit Ain't Won

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently issued a press release regarding a $2 million settlement in a case involving systematic discrimination. Blador Electric Co. is a manufacturer of industrial motors and generators and currently holds a number of federal contracts worth more than $18 million. OFCCP conducted an investigation and concluded that one of the company’s facilities had been implementing an applicant screening process which had a disparate impact on women and minorities. OFCCP investigators revealed that approximately 795 qualified women, African Americans, and individuals of Asian and Hispanic descent had been denied equal employment opportunities when applying for production positions. The company’s applicant screening process denied them the opportunity to reach the interview stage. The company's applicant screening process is a violation of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors, who do over $10,000 of work for the Government in one year, from employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. In order to close the case, Baldor Electric Co. agreed to pay $2 million in back wages and interest to the women and minorities affected by the company’s systematic discrimination. In addition, the company must also make at least 50 job offers to individuals within the class of applicants affected by the discrimination.

The OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws require contractors and subcontractors, who do business with the federal government, to adhere to fair standards of employment which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. You can read an article on the case by clicking here.

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