In some cases, it may be feasible to calculate individual back pay awards. When it is not, the formula relief method will be used as described in FCCM 7C11. When individual relief is feasible, the CO determines the amount of back pay the contractor will award to victims by calculating, as accurately as possible, the pay the victims would have received if not for the discrimination. The most common way to reconstruct pay is to identify members of the favored group for comparison with affected members of the nonfavored group (or an individual without a disability in a Section 503 case). Proper comparators are those who were hired, promoted, etc., at about the same time the victims of the discrimination should have been hired, promoted, etc. The CO then traces comparators’ pay history.
In promotion and compensation cases, the difference between the pay received by the victims and that by the comparators within the appropriate time frame constitutes the back pay due the victims. For hiring cases, the difference between the pay received by the comparators and that by the victims if they exercised reasonable diligence to find alternative employment within the appropriate time frame constitutes back pay due the victims. If there are gaps in the comparators’ employment during the back pay period (e.g., the comparators quit, had a lengthy illness), the CO should make a reasonable estimate of the amount of wages the comparators would have made without the break in service.