Federal Contractor Settles Race Discrimination Allegations

Monday, May 12, 2014

Training for Race Discrimination Prevention can be found HERE.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and federal contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff agreed to settle allegations of hiring discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity involving 247 Hispanic, Asian-American, African-American, Native American and mixed race job applicants who were rejected for assistant engineer positions at the company's New York City headquarters.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP investigators determined that Parsons Brinckerhoff violated Executive Order 11246 between 2010 and 2012 by using a hiring process that resulted in systemic discrimination. The agency found that Parsons Brinckerhoff did not follow its own written hiring policies and failed to use a consistent selection process for screening, interviewing and selecting assistant engineers. As a result, zero minorities were hired as assistant engineers during the review period.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is a global consulting firm responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining important landmarks, such as the African Burial Ground National Monument in Manhattan. During the past three years, the company has received more than $2.1 million in taxpayer-funded contracts from the U.S. Department of the Army, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and Public Buildings Service.

Under the terms of the conciliation agreement signed by both parties, the contractor will pay $188,043 in back wages and interest to the affected job seekers and will offer assistant engineer 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 all future applicants.

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. These three laws require that those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, must follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. 

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