Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
March 2012 Events and News
OFCCP Settles Major Discrimination Case with FedEx
OFCCP has reached an agreement with FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., and FedEx SmartPost, Inc., to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination against specific groups of workers identified at 23 facilities in 15 states. The agreement concludes compliance reviews that spanned seven years and comprises the largest single financial settlement negotiated by OFCCP since 2004.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, the companies will pay a total of $3 million in back wages and interest to 21,635 applicants who were rejected for entry–level package handler and parcel assistant positions at 22 FedEx Ground facilities and one FedEx SmartPost facility. FedEx also has agreed to extend job offers to 1,703 of the affected workers as positions become available. The 21,635 rejected job seekers represent one of the largest classes of victims of any case in OFCCP’s history.
“Being a federal contractor is a privilege and means you absolutely, positively cannot discriminate, not when you are profiting from taxpayer dollars,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Under this agreement, FedEx will have to really examine and revamp its hiring practices across the entire company. The American people ought to have confidence that one of our nation’s most trusted brands will not tolerate discrimination.”
EEOC Issues Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with Disabilities
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued two revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both documents are available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.
The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which make it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments–including those that are often not well understood–such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully. [Prior to the ADA Amendments Act, the ADA’s definition of the term “disability” had been construed narrowly, significantly limiting the law’s protections.
The revised documents are also an outgrowth of a public meeting the EEOC held on Nov. 16, 2011 entitled “Overcoming Barriers to the Employment of Veterans with Disabilities.” In that meeting, the Commission heard testimony from a panel of experts on the unique needs of veterans with disabilities transitioning to civilian employment. The particular challenges faced by veterans with disabilities in obtaining employment has been the subject of increased attention in recent months, as large numbers of veterans return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Read the complete EEOC news release for more information.
US Labor Department Settles Charges of Racial Discrimination with NCS Pearson
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that federal government contractor NCS Pearson Inc. has agreed to settle allegations of hiring discrimination on the basis of race involving 67 Asian applicants who were rejected for associate software developer positions at the company’s Iowa City, Iowa, facility. Under the terms of the agreement, the contractor will pay $100,000 in back wages and interest to all affected job seekers and offer associate software developer positions and retroactive seniority to at least four class members as positions become available. Additionally, the company will revise its selection policies and procedures to ensure equal employment opportunities for future applicants.
“All workers deserve a fair shot to compete for and secure good jobs, and it is incumbent upon companies that do business with taxpayer dollars to make sure that the doors of opportunity are truly open to everyone,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, a member of the federal Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. “President Obama has articulated his commitment to protecting the civil rights of our nation’s rapidly growing Asian American communities, and I’m pleased that we were able to work out a settlement which will provide financial relief and jobs for workers who were denied their fair shot.”