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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor and CHPRC Enter Agreement to Resolve Alleged Pay Discrimination Against Female Employees in Richland, Washington

SEATTLE, WA – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into an Early Resolution Conciliation Agreement (ERCA) with CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co. (CHPRC), resolving allegations that the federal contractor engaged in systemic compensation discrimination against female employees in Richland, Washington. While not admitting wrongdoing, the environmental cleanup contractor agreed to an ERCA, and to enhance future compliance proactively.

An OFCCP compliance review found that CHPRC paid female employees less than comparable males employed in several administrative and technical positions. OFCCP determined that CHPRC’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from sex-based employment discrimination. To resolve these allegations, CHPRC agreed to pay $450,124 in back pay and interest to 214 female employees.

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is satisfied that CHPRC has pursued an early resolution conciliation agreement, and addressed the issues found in our review,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen. “OFCCP’s Early Resolution Procedures enable federal contractors and the Department to work together to address and resolve issues of non-compliance efficiently.”

“Federal contractors must provide a level playing field for workers through equal employment opportunities,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director for the Pacific Region Jane Suhr, in San Francisco, California. “All employees deserve to be compensated equally regardless of their gender, and federal contractors must provide this opportunity through equal employment practices.”

CHPRC is the prime contractor for the cleanup of the Central Plateau and River Corridor at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site in Richland, Washington.

In 2018, OFCCP launched an effort to resolve supply and service compliance evaluations at the earliest stage possible with corporate-wide compliance, and issued a directive establishing Early Resolution Procedures. These procedures allow OFCCP and contractors with multiple establishments to cooperatively implement corporate-wide compliance with OFCCP’s regulatory requirements and efficiently resolve issues.

OFCCP launched the Class Member Locator (CML) to identify applicants and/or workers who have been impacted by OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations 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 was employed in an administrative or technical position at CHPRC in 2017, please visit our website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/CML/index.htm, where you can also find information about other recent OFCCP settlements.

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.

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Agency
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Date
December 22, 2020
Release Number
20-2302-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali
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