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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

November 2010 Events and News

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [11/23/2010]
Contact Name: Rhonda Burke or Scott Allen
Phone Number: (312) 353–6976
Release Number: 10–1605–CHI

US Department of Labor sues Meyer Tool Inc. for systemic discrimination against African–Americans

Complaint seeks remedies for affected machinist applicants

CINCINNATI – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has filed an administrative complaint against Meyer Tool Inc., a federal contractor that manufactures engine parts for the aerospace industry. The suit alleges that Meyer Tool systematically rejected African–American job applicants who sought entry–level machinist positions at its plant in Cincinnati.

The complaint was filed today with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C., after OFCCP was unable to secure a fair resolution from Meyer Tool during conciliation efforts with the company.

“This defendant has a contractual obligation to provide equal employment opportunity,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “The company failed to meet that obligation. So we will enforce the law and hold Meyer Tool accountable to the fair and reasonable standard that it not discriminate against any group of workers.”

The company’s discriminatory practices and recordkeeping violations were discovered by OFCCP during a scheduled review to determine the company’s compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race when making hiring decisions. OFCCP’s investigation revealed that Meyer Tool failed to implement an internal audit and reporting system to ensure nondiscriminatory policies were carried out as required by law; retain employment applications for the required two–year period; implement an applicant tracking system to determine selection disparities; and develop action–oriented programs to address the adverse impact against African–Americans in the machinist job group.

The complaint seeks a court order requiring Meyer Tool Inc. to hire at least 14 African–American applicants from the affected class list and to provide them with lost wages and retroactive seniority. Should the company fail to provide such relief and remedy its violations, OFCCP believes Meyer Tool should face cancellation of its existing government contracts and debarment from entering into future ones.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP’s legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, call OFCCP’s toll–free helpline at 800–397–6251. Additional information is available at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp.

Solis v. Meyer Tool Inc.
Case Number: 2011–OFC-3

 

DOL “Toolkit” Guides Employers in Recruitment and Hiring of Veterans

Federal contractors can now take advantage of a “Veterans Hiring Toolkit” available online from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). It is designed to help employers include veterans in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Federal contractors may find it useful in meeting their equal employment obligations to recruit, hire and promote veterans protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).

“It’s important to remind federal contractors that VEVRAA’s protections extend to disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu.

The Veterans Hiring Toolkit was developed as part of DOL’s “America’s Heroes at Work”. It takes employers through a step–by–step process that helps them understand both opportunities available to them by hiring qualified veterans and challenges that may arise in dealing with veterans who are transitioning from military life.

For more information, see the Department of Labor’s Veterans Hiring Toolkit news release, and visit the America’s Heroes at Work to access the toolkit.

For more information about federal contractor’s equal opportunity obligations under VEVRAA, see Compliance Assistance – Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

 

OFCCP Settles Discrimination Case with Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats, Inc.

More than 530 African–American and Caucasian workers who were turned down for jobs with Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats, Inc. in Vernon, Texas, will recover $560,000 in back pay and interest under a conciliation agreement the company has signed with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Fifty–nine of the workers will receive job offers as laborer positions become available at the bacon–processing plant.

“The Labor Department is committed to leveling the playing field for all workers,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “A company that profits from taxpayer dollars must not discriminate, period!”

The settlement, known as a conciliation agreement, resolves an investigation by OFCCP into the facility’s hiring practices, which showed that African–American and Caucasian job applicants were much less likely to be hired than similarly–situated Hispanic applicants. As a federal contractor, Tyson is prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of gender, race, sex, religion, nationality, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Read the Labor Department’s Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats news release about this case.

 

Nine States Receive DOL Funding for Programs to Assist People with Disabilities

Federal contractors and subcontractors in the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia may find new sources of qualified workers with disabilities.

That’s because the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $21,276,575 to agencies in these nine states under its Disability Employment Initiative. The funds will be used to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes of youth and adults who are unemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The initiative is jointly funded and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy.

“During these difficult economic times, we want to make it possible for all workers, especially those with disabilities, to benefit from the Labor Department’s employment and retraining services that have a proven success rate,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Through this new grant, individuals with disabilities will be able to utilize the necessary tools to obtain permanent and secure jobs.”

The department has entered into cooperative agreements with the states to support exemplary employment services for individuals with disabilities. The grants also will support partnerships, collaboration and services across multiple workforce and disability systems in each state, including vocational rehabilitation services, mental health and developmental disability agencies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant–supported activities, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit provider organizations.

For more information, see the Department of Labor’s States Receive DOL Funding news release.

 

Industry Representatives and Outreach/Advocacy Organizations Are Named to Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship

Representatives of industry organizations, some of whom are federal contractors, and outreach and advocacy organizations have been appointed to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. The committee is comprised of approximately 30 individuals representing employers, labor unions, and the public.

New employer representatives are Gregory A. Chambers, director of corporate compliance with Oberg Industries Inc., of Freeport, Pa., Liz Elvin, senior director, Workforce Development, Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., Todd Staub, director of workforce development, Chapter Services Group, Associated Builders and Contractors, of Arlington, Va., and Robyn Stone, executive director, Institute for the Future of Aging Services, American Association for Homes and Services for the Aging.

Serving as public representatives are Connie Ashbrook, director, Oregon Tradeswomen Inc., Portland, Ore.; Andrew Cortes, director of YouthBuild and Building Futures, The Providence Plan, Providence, R.I.; Phaedra Ellis–Lamkins, chief executive officer, Green for All, Oakland, Calif.; Emma Oppenheim, manager, Workforce Development Policy Initiatives, National Council of La Raza, Washington, D.C.; and James A. Reed, vice president, Workforce Development Division, National Urban League, New York, N.Y.

Other public representatives include Janet B. Bray, executive director, Association for Career and Technical Education, Alexandria, Va.; Monte Perez, president, Riverside Community College, Moreno Valley, Calif.; and Abel Valenzuela Jr., professor, UCLA’s Cesar Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Los Angeles, Calif.

Phaedra Ellis–Lamkins will serve as the ACA’s chairperson.

ACA members provide advice and recommendations on the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and regulations affecting apprenticeship; on preparing the U.S. workforce for sustained employment through employment and training programs; on development of measures that foster quality workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair; and strategies that meet the competitive labor demands of a global economy.

An open meeting of the ACA was held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27 and 28, 2010.

For more information and full listing of all ACA members, see the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship Department of Labor news release.

 

OFCCP’s Focus on Veterans Is Subject of House Subcommittee Hearing

Les Jin Some 30 percent of OFCCP’s on–site reviews of federal contractors in FY 2010 turned up problems with the recruitment of veterans, Les Jin, OFCCP’s deputy director, recently told members of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Jin testified about the work OFCCP does to enforce the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistant Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act as it pertains to disabled veterans.

Especially disturbing was the agency’s finding that some veterans for whom VEVRAA and Section 503 provide important civil rights protections are reluctant to disclose their veteran status when they work for or seek employment with federal contractors or subcontractors.

“Many of these young men and women are returning from battle with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and a host of other challenges,” Jin said. “They need re–entry services and some have told us they are afraid to disclose their status as a disabled veteran — and sometimes even their service — to their employers for fear of being discriminated against when hiring, compensation and promotion decisions are made.”

OFCCP, in response to such concerns, is seeking to revise VEVRAA regulations to strengthen affirmative action programs and measure the effectiveness of federal contractors’ equal employment opportunity efforts. Similar regulatory action is underway with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Jin also described OFCCP’s new outreach efforts to individual veterans and to community and advocacy groups who represent veterans’ interests. “We are educating veterans about their rights in the job market. We are showing them how to identify discriminatory practices, and we are creating avenues for two–way communication between communities of veterans and OFCCP,” he said.

Read the complete text of Deputy Director Jin’s testimony at https://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20100929_Jin.htm