U.S. Department of Labor and the University of Delaware Enter Agreement to Resolve Alleged Hiring Discrimination
NEWARK, DE – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement with the University of Delaware in Newark, to resolve allegations of systemic hiring discrimination. The university has agreed to pay $100,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to the affected male class members who applied and were not hired for custodial technician positions.
The preliminary findings of OFCCP’s routine compliance evaluation show that from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the university discriminated against 210 male applicants for custodial technician positions in violation of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in hiring by federal contractors.
While not admitting liability, the University of Delaware agreed to an early resolution conciliation agreement and to enhance future compliance proactively. The University of Delaware will also evaluate its selection procedures, and conduct an in-depth review of its practices to ensure there are no discriminatory selection practices.
“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Early Resolution Procedures help ensure prompter and broader relief for America’s workforce by allowing contractors facing a potential violation to proactively correct such violations and ensure future enterprise-wide compliance,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen.
“Federal contractors are legally obligated to monitor their hiring processes and ensure applicants are not rejected due to unlawful practices,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Michele Hodge, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In 2020, the University of Delaware secured federal contracts for products and services from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, Department of the Army, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration.
In November 2018, OFCCP issued a directive establishing Early Resolution Procedures, launching an initiative to promote early and efficient resolution of supply and service compliance evaluations. These procedures allow OFCCP and contractors with multiple establishments to implement corporate-wide compliance cooperatively with OFCCP’s regulatory requirements, and resolve identified issues efficiently. In turn, contractors are exempt from future OFCCP evaluations for five years.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, 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 based on 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 that 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 http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP launched the Class Member Locator to identify applicants and/or workers who have been impacted by OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and who may be entitled to a portion of monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement. If you think you may be a class member who applied between (2017) and (2018), the period of the investigation, please visit our website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/CML/index.htm, where you can also find information about other recent OFCCP settlements.
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.