SEATTLE — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced today that it has entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of sex discrimination by federal contractor, ResCare HomeCare Spokane. OFCCP investigators determined that ResCare's selection process violated Executive Order 11246 because it led to systemic hiring discrimination affecting men who applied for in-home care positions between June 2009 and May 2010. The investigation concluded that 77 male job applicants were denied full consideration during the hiring process.
"When we tell our daughters that there are no limits to what jobs they can pursue, we should be mindful that those same aspirations apply to our sons," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Outdated stereotypes about women being better suited to caregiving jobs than men perpetuate unlawful and unfair sex discrimination. At OFCCP, we are committed to combating sex stereotyping whenever it gets in the way of equal employment opportunities for qualified workers."
Though ResCare officials asserted that most of their clients are women and requested female caregivers, the company had no evidence to support this. An overwhelming majority of client care plans contained no gender preference, and when OFCCP contacted a sample of these clients to ask whether they had a gender preference for their caregiver, nearly half of the female clients indicated that they had no gender preference.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will pay a total of $92,059 in back pay and interest to 77 rejected male applicants. ResCare has also agreed to hire eight members of the affected class as in-home care positions become available. Additionally, the federal contractor agreed to immediately correct any discriminatory practices and undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all compensation practices fully comply with the law.
ResCare provides homecare services and in-home senior care, including nursing, therapy, personal care, Alzheimer and dementia care, homemaking, companionship and other services. The Spokane facility is a part of ResCare Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., and it holds approximately $100 million in contracts with the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration to operate 15 Job Corps centers across the country and is the program's second largest center operator in the nation.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.