Government Contractor Pays $362,500 in Back Pay, Interest to Settle Hiring Discrimination Allegations After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation
NORCO, LOUISIANA – The U.S. Department of Labor and Valero Refinery Company – a global manufacturer of transportation fuels and petrochemical products in Norco, Louisiana – have entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination.
After a routine Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) compliance evaluation, the Valero Refinery Company has agreed to pay $362,500 in back wages and interest as part of a conciliation agreement with the department to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination at Valero’s facility in Norco. OFCCP found that, beginning in 2014, the company systemically discriminated against Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Operator Trainee applicants. OFCCP determined that the company’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color or national origin.
In addition to the $362,500, in back pay and interest, Valero Refinery Company will provide up to seven Operator Trainee job opportunities to Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American applicants as positions become available. Valero will also take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including recordkeeping and internal auditing procedures, meet legal requirements.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to resolving discrimination issues by working with employers and employees,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Director, Melissa Speer, in Dallas, Texas. “Valero Refinery Company has agreed to implement changes to its hiring process to comply with federal hiring and equal employment opportunity laws.”
Valero Refinery Company has recently entered into a contract valued at more than $260 million with the Defense Logistics Agency for turbine fuel.
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/.
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.