Federal Contractors Should be Held to Higher Standards
Every employer in the United States needs to adhere to a variety of standards set forth by the Department of Labor, unions, and any other applicable regulatory body. However, some employers need to be held to an even higher standard, especially if they receive benefits based on their position. Companies that work with the federal government are expected to, at the very least, meet reasonable inclusion and non-discrimination standards in order to reflect our nation’s values in return for receiving taxpayer dollars, and failing to do so will result in penalties and fines.
These inclusion and non-discrimination standards apply to more than just people of different races and genders – they also apply to people with different disabilities that may prevent them from performing any variety of tasks. The United States Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) found 553 cases of discrimination among federal contractors between January 2009 and December 2015, and managed to recover $71.1 million in back pay for over 130,000 job seekers and workers while also negotiating nearly 12,000 job opportunities.
Some notable recent cases the Department of Labor have recently solved include:
- Fastenal Company’s use of discriminatory tests that were used to screen out more than 9,000 qualified African American and female potential employees from working general warehouse positions at their Atlanta, GA and Indianapolis, IN locations. Fastenal, a federal contractor receiving over $35 million in government contracts and this continent’s number one distributor of fastening products, was required to pay more than $1.25 million in back wages plus interest to the 1,055 female and 7,398 African American applicants, and will also hire 171 job applicants from that group of people they discriminated against.
- FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and FedEx SmartPost Inc.’s selection procedures and hiring processes from 23 different facilities in 15 states that discriminated against applicants based on race, sex, and/or national origin. Following OFCCP’s investigation, the company agreed to pay a total of $3 million in back wages and interest to more than 21,500 applicants affected by the discrimination and will offer jobs to 1,703 of those applicants as jobs become available. The $3 million financial settlement was the largest OFCCP had negotiated in more than a decade.
Ensuring fair hiring practices and preventing discrimination is a vital part of keeping America’s workforce strong, and violations need to be sought out and rectified in order to protect the affected workers. At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our Houston attorneys work tirelessly to help those who have been wronged, and with more than 100 years of collective experience you know you’re in good hands. Contact us today by filling out our online form to schedule a free consultation, or call us at (888) 367-7160 to speak with one of our lawyers today.