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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor and Newport News Shipbuilding Enter Agreement to Resolve Alleged Hiring Discrimination

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement with Newport News Shipbuilding – a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries – to resolve allegations of systematic hiring discrimination and to enhance future compliance proactively. The federal contractor has agreed to pay $3,500,000 in back pay and interest to 4,428 affected African American applicants not hired for 10 different job positions.

The findings of OFCCP’s routine compliance evaluation show that from Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 31, 2012, the employer discriminated against African American applicants for deck electrician, fitter, machine hand, outside machinist, maintenance electrician, molder, pipefitter, refueler, sheet metal worker and structural welder positions. OFCCP found the company’s action violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits race-based discrimination in hiring by federal contractors.

While denying OFCCP’s allegations, Newport News Shipbuilding has also agreed to provide job opportunities to 141 African American members of the affected class. Under the agreement, NNS will provide monitoring and reports of their hiring practices for the affected job titles for the Newport News, VA and NNS-Kesselring in Ballston Spa, NY locations for five years to ensure nondiscriminatory selection practices.

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Early Resolution Procedures are designed to enable federal contractors and the Department to work together to ensure prompter relief for America’s workforce and future company-wide compliance,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen.

“This agreement remedies past and prevents future systematic hiring discrimination at Newport News Shipbuilding, and ensures the company complies with federal hiring and equal employment opportunity laws,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Michele Hodge, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest industrial employer in Virginia, and sole designer, builder and refueler of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. Founded as the Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Co. in 1886, Newport News Shipbuilding has built more than 800 ships, including naval and commercial ships.

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 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 November 2011 and October 2012, the period of the investigation, please visit our website at, where you can also find information about other recent OFCCP settlements.

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

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.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
October 22, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
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