US Labor Department settles allegations of systemic hiring discrimination
at Hospira Inc., in McPherson, Kansas
Company agrees to pay female applicants $400K in back wages
WASHINGTON Hospira Inc., a government contractor, discriminated against women in violation of Executive Order 11246 when it denied jobs to 145 female applicants for pharmacy attendant positions at its McPherson, Kansas, facility, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found.
"Discrimination is preventable when employers have nondiscriminatory selection procedures in place and see to it that they are followed," said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. "Hospira has worked proactively with our agency to resolve the alleged discrimination and to ensure that all required employment records will be maintained going forward."
In its investigation, OFCCP found that discriminatory selection practices resulted in qualified female applicants being hired at much lower rates than similarly qualified male applicants. OFCCP also found that Hospira violated record-keeping requirements by failing to preserve employment applications and interview forms.
These violations occurred while Hospira received more than $35 million in contracts for developing and manufacturing injection medications for the U.S. government.
In its conciliation agreement with OFCCP, Hospira has committed to hire 11 female class members during the agreement's monitoring period. The company will also pay $400,000 in back wages with interest to the 145 female job applicants who were denied positions. The company did not admit liability.
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. As amended, these three laws require that contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP recently launched the Class Member Locator (CML). The purpose of the CML is 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 under an OFCCP conciliation agreement. If you think you may be a female class member, please visit our website at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/CML/index.htm, where you can also find information about other recent OFCCP settlements.