News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Reaches Conciliation Agreement With Wells Fargo & Co. to Resolve Discrimination Allegations

PHILADELPHIA, PA –The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into a conciliation agreement with Wells Fargo & Co. to resolve allegations of race discrimination in Arizona and gender-based discrimination in Virginia and Utah.

An OFCCP investigation found that – from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014 – Wells Fargo & Co.’s Phone Bank Premier, Home Equity & Online Customer Service (OCS) unit discriminated against 2,066 female applicants for positions as online customer service representatives in Glen Allen, Virginia, and Salt Lake City, Utah, and 282 African American applicants for phone banker positions in Phoenix, Arizona. By doing so, the employer failed to comply with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits race and sex discrimination by federal contractors.

As part of its conciliation agreement, Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $603,612 in back wages, interest and benefits to the affected applicants. While not admitting liability, Wells Fargo & Co. will also make 17 job offers in Glen Allen, Virginia, 20 job offers in Salt Lake City, Utah, and 29 job offers in Phoenix, Arizona, to original applicants as positions become available. Wells Fargo & Co. will also review and revise its selection process and provide better training to its hiring managers to eliminate practices that resulted in the violations.

“Companies that accept federal contracts must monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Michele Hodge, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Wells Fargo & Co. provides its services and products to multiple federal departments and agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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.

Agency
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Date
October 17, 2019
Release Number
19-1784-PHI
Contact: Leni Fortson
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
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