Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
Federal Contractor to Pay $424,463 in Back Pay and Interest To Resolve Discrimination Allegations
PHILADELPHIA, PA – After a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor, federal contractor Cintas Corp. – based in Cincinnati, Ohio – has agreed to pay $424,463 in back pay and interest to resolve hiring and pay discrimination allegations against 197 applicants and employees.
The lawsuit, filed in January 2017, alleged the company violated Executive Order 11246 provisions against hiring and compensation discrimination. The Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) claimed that Cintas Corp. discriminated against female production workers with regard to their compensation, and discriminated against black and male applicants for garment inspector/hanger positions and against minority applicants for service sales representative positions since September 2011.
Under the consent decree, Cintas Corp. is required to pay $354,463 in back pay and interest to the compensation class members and $70,000 in back pay and interest to the hiring class members. In addition to paying back wages and interest, the settlement requires the company to provide job opportunities to two eligible applicants, revise and monitor its hiring and compensation processes, and provide updates to OFCCP on its compliance with Executive Order 11246.
“Companies that accept federal contracts must ensure that their employment practices do not discriminate,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Michele Hodge, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“This settlement goes a long way in making the discriminated applicants and employees whole. It also sends a clear message to all federal contractors of the serious costs of discrimination in any form,” said Oscar L. Hampton III, Regional Solicitor in Philadelphia.
As a result of concurrent OFCCP compliance evaluations at five other Cintas Corp. establishments, OFCCP also signed a corporate-wide conciliation agreement with Cintas Corp. The agreement provides back pay of $190,000 and interest of $34,984.64 plus hiring commitments to 205 female applicants to the highest paid positions in the production department. As part of the Early Resolution Compliance Agreement, Cintas Corp. has committed to enhance employment opportunities for female workers proactively. Cintas will contract with a third-party consultant to review its outreach, hiring, placement, and compensation policies related to both production and operative workers and report the results to OFCCP over a 5-year period.
Cintas Corp. provides uniform and apparel, facility services, commercial services, first aid, fire protection, document management, and operates more than 430 facilities worldwide. Cintas Corp.’s facility #425 in Philadelphia focuses on the rental, cleaning, and embroidery of uniforms and apparel. The conciliation agreement relates to reviews conducted at the following rental facilities: Location #62 in Piscataway, New Jersey; Location #111 in Union, New Jersey; Location #780 in Central Islip, New York; Location #756 in Cumberland/Providence, Rhode Island; and Location #543 in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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 on the basis 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/.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
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Editor’s note: This release has been updated to more accurately describe the class members.