U.S. Department of Labor Reaches Conciliation Agreement With Law Firm to Resolve Alleged Pay Discrimination
PROVIDENCE, RI – After a routine compliance review by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Locke Lord LLP – a federal contractor formerly known as Edwards Wildman – voluntarily entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of pay discrimination at its Providence, Rhode Island, office.
In January 2015, Locke Lord LLP acquired Edwards Wildman. In fiscal years 2016 through 2020, Locke Lord LLP received payments totaling $4,915,638 due to federal contracts.
After a routine compliance evaluation, OFCCP alleged that Locke Lord LLP discriminated in its practice of issuing bonuses to 22 female associates. While not admitting the allegations, Locke Lord LLP agreed to provide relief for the affected associates totaling $150,000 in lost bonuses and interest, as well as assuring that all employees are afforded equal employment opportunities.
“This agreement is an outstanding example for the legal industry to follow,” said the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Northeast Regional Director Diana Sen in New York.
“Locke Lord is working with us to ensure pay equity for its female associates,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig Leen. “Together, we will ensure that the company’s employment practices comply with equal employment opportunity requirements.”
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, and may not retaliate against applicants or employees for engaging in protected activities. These laws also require that federal contractors provide equal employment opportunity through affirmative action. 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.