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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Employment Standards Administration

ESA Press Release: U.S. Labor Department Sues Boeing Government Alleges Federal Contractor Barred Access to Premises and Records [07/06/1999]

For more information call: (202) 693-4657

The United States Department of Labor filed three lawsuits today against the Boeing Company of Seattle, Washington, alleging that the giant aerospace company has interfered with compliance reviews and investigations into complaints of discrimination. The suits--filed with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges--charge that Boeing has refused the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) access to its facilities and records.

"I am committed to enforcing the nondiscrimination obligations of federal contractors, and this situation is a clear example of how the OFCCP must--and is entitled--to have reasonable access to the premises and records of companies which benefit from doing business with the federal government. Denying us that access cannot--and will not--be tolerated," U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman said when announcing the lawsuit.

The complaints, signed by the Department's chief legal officer, Solicitor of Labor Henry L. Solano, allege that Boeing denied OFCCP access to its facilities and records at a commercial aircraft facility in Seattle; commercial aircraft and military space and defense facilities in Wichita, Kansas; and a training systems facility in Mesa, Arizona. The department has requested that the Administrative Law Judges hear these cases on an expedited basis.

The Arizona and Kansas facilities were scheduled for routine compliance reviews. In Seattle, OFCCP was attempting to investigate a class action complaint of race discrimination filed by an employee of the facility. In April and May, Boeing notified OFCCP it would not permit the Mesa review or the Seattle investigation to begin. It also refused to allow the Wichita reviews, already in progress, to continue.

Boeing--the nation's second largest defense contractor--received $11 billion in government contracts during fiscal year 1998 and employs 230,000 workers nationwide. As a federal contractor, it is prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability or veteran status.

OFCCP is the agency within the Department of Labor that enforces the affirmative action and nondiscrimination requirements to which federal contractors are subject (Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and portions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act). Contractors who interfere with OFCCP's activities are subject to sanctions including debarment and contract cancellation.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
July 6, 1999
Contact: David Roberts
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