Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
US Department of Labor sues Silicon Valley tech company for discriminating against Asian job applicants
PALO ALTO – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit charging that Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto technology company, discriminated systematically against Asian job applicants in its hiring process and selection procedures.
Filed with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, the lawsuit seeks to end the company’s alleged discriminatory hiring policies and practices. Palantir provides software and data analysis services under federal contract to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. Department of the Army.
The suit also seeks complete relief for the affected class, including lost wages, interest, retroactive seniority and all other lost benefits of employment. The department filed the complaint after the department and Palantir were unable to resolve the findings through the conciliation process.
The suit follows a compliance review by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which found that from January 2010 to the present, Palantir violated Executive Order 11246 by:
- Using a hiring process and selection procedures that discriminated against Asian applicants for software engineering positions on the basis of their race.
- Maintaining a hiring process in which Asian applicants were routinely eliminated in the resume screen and telephone interview phases despite being as qualified as white applicants.
- Hiring a majority of applicants from a discriminatory employee referral system. The overwhelming preference for referrals, combined with the contractor’s failure to ensure equal employment opportunity for all applicants without regard to race, resulted in discrimination against Asian applicants.
“Federal contractors have an obligation to ensure that their hiring practices and policies are free of all forms of discrimination,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “Our nation’s taxpayers deserve to know that companies employed with public funds are providing equal opportunity for job seekers.”
The full complaint can be viewed here.
If Palantir fails to provide relief as ordered, OFCCP requests the cancellation of all of the company’s government contracts and debarment from entering into future federal contracts.
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 laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed or disclosed their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.