Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
February 2011 Events and News
More Collaboration in the Future for Civil Rights Enforcement Agencies
On February 8, OFCCP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division hosted a webcast to discuss increased collaboration among their agencies in enforcing federal civil rights laws.
The meeting, which was transmitted to field offices for all three agencies, represents the first time in history that these agencies have met to discuss joint enforcement efforts. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris moderated a panel with OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien, and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez to discuss opportunities for sustained collaboration moving forward. In addition, opening remarks were offered by Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Council Director and principal advisor to President Obama on civil rights.
Agencies cited ways they will leverage resources and increase their collective ability to hold employers accountable for employment discrimination, including developing joint protocols, sharing information and best practices, and coordinating training and litigation strategies. “We need to start talking to each other, to start sharing information, and to put our egos and turf issues aside to really prioritize what’s in the best interests of workers,” Director Shiu said.
The agency leaders committed to working more closely together as a joint force to end work place discrimination and advance employment for American workers.
OFCCP Settles Gender Discrimination Case with Green Bay Dressed Beef
Women who were rejected for jobs with Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will recover $1.65 million in back pay, interest, and benefits under a conciliation agreement the company has signed with OFCCP. Of the 970 women affected, 248 of the workers will receive job offers as laborer positions become available, in addition to the 60 workers already hired back with the beef supplier.
The settlement resolves an investigation by OFCCP into the facility’s hiring practices, which showed that female job applicants were much less likely to be hired than similarly–situated male applicants. As a federal contractor and supplier of beef products for the federal school lunch program, Green Bay Dressed Beef is prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of gender, race, sex, religion, nationality, disability or status as a protected veteran.
“This is the 21st century in the United States of America. There is no such thing as a ‘man’s job,’ ” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “I am pleased that my department has been able to work out a resolution with Green Bay Dressed Beef, and that the settlement not only compensates the victims of discrimination but also provides jobs for many of these women.”
Read the Labor Department’s news release about this case.
Director Shiu Talks Civil Rights
The march toward equality has been a long and arduous one, spanning over 150 years in the U.S. Substantive steps have been made, particularly over the last 50 years, but there is still more work to do and the nation must keep moving. These were the main points stressed by OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu who spoke February 7 in Washington, DC, at the American Federation of Government Employees 2011 Civil Rights Luncheon.
Before a crowd of more than 500 AFGE representatives, Shiu highlighted DOL’s commitment to success for workers and businesses. “We are committed to enforcing our laws to keep the doors of opportunity open for all workers even if we have to pry those doors open from time to time,” said Director Shiu. “We believe businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete at a disadvantage against those who don’t.”