In March 2012, the United States Department of Labor announced it had reached an agreement with shipping giant FedEx in which the company would pay $3 million to the federal government to settle charges of discriminatory hiring practices. Additionally, FedEx agreed to:
- Take significant steps to eliminate discrimination from its hiring processes
- Develop and implement equal employment opportunity training
- Engage in extensive self-monitoring to ensure that its hiring practices comply with all federal anti-discrimination laws
FedEx denied all wrongdoing, insisting instead that it had agreed to the settlement merely to avoid a protracted and potentially more costly resolution through the courts.
In and of itself, a large company agreeing to a settlement with the federal government while denying having violated the law is not particularly unusual. Companies calculate the risks and benefits of federal litigation all the time, and frequently come down on the side of risk-avoidance by compromising with federal agencies or prosecutors.
But two things make this case unusual. First, the case focused on hiring practices — traditionally, most employment discrimination cases focus on things like firing, failure to promote or harassment, which are usually viewed as easier to prove than hiring discrimination. Second, the case did not arise from individual complaints of discrimination, but rather from a routine review of federal contracts by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), part of the Department of Labor.
Anyone who does business with the federal government must make a contractual commitment to provide equal employment opportunity. The OFCCP routinely reviews hiring and selection procedures of federal contractors to ensure that they are complying with affirmative action and equal opportunity requirements.
As part of a regularly scheduled desk audit, the OFCCP discovered that FedEx was preferentially hiring males over females and white applicants over black or Hispanic applicants at a high enough rate to be statistically significant in both cases and to indicate likely discrimination. Although employment discrimination attorneys point out that $3 million is not a lot when you consider that the settlement ostensibly covers over 21,000 employees, the mere fact that the OFCCP engages in this sort of statistical analysis ¾ and that large, trusted companies agree to review and revise their hiring practices to eliminate discrimination ¾ is grounds for hope.
- Employment Discrimination | WorkPlace Discrimination Lawyer in NYC-NJ-PA
- Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New York City, New Jersey & Philadelphia
- Sexual Harassment | Sexual Harassment / Sexism Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA
- Sexual Harassment | Workplace Sexual Harassment lawyer in New Jersey
- Can My Boss Make Me Sign a Non-Compete Agreement? - November 23, 2021
- Me Too: Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention - November 1, 2021
- President Biden’s Executive Order, the COVID Vaccine, and Your Employee Rights - September 15, 2021
- Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Reach the New York Governor’s Office - August 4, 2021
- Top Reasons You Need an Attorney Review of Your Severance Agreement - July 29, 2021
- Why Don’t Most Employees Report Misconduct at Work? - July 20, 2021
- Get the Best New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyer Near You - May 20, 2021
- 6 Pregnancy Rights You Need to Know - April 20, 2021
- Sex for Rent Schemes Hit Low-Income Renters - February 3, 2021
- Know your rights: Can you get fired if you refuse to take the COVID vaccine? - February 2, 2021