U.S. Department of Labor Review Results in Government Contractor Paying $250,000 in Back Pay and Interest to Settle Alleged Hiring Discrimination
CONROE, TX – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the GEO Group Inc. – a company specializing in privatized corrections, detention, and mental health treatment – have entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination at the company’s Joe Corley Detention Center in Conroe, Texas. The GEO Group Inc. has agreed to pay $250,000 in back wages and interest as part of a conciliation agreement.
A routine compliance evaluation by OFCCP found that beginning in 2011, the employer systemically discriminated against female correctional officer applicants. OFCCP determined the company’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on sex.
In addition to the $250,000, in back wages and interest, the company will provide job opportunities to 22 affected female applicants as correctional officer positions become available. The company will also take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including recordkeeping and internal auditing procedures, meet legal requirements.
“OFCCP is committed to working with federal contractors to resolve discrimination issues,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Melissa Speer. “Together, the Department and the GEO Group Inc. will ensure that the company has the measures in place to comply with federal hiring and employment law.”
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 the compensation of others subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/