$1.5 Million Settlement in Hiring Discrimination Case Against Federal Contractor

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Federal contractor Westat Inc. has agreed to settle allegations that it failed to provide equal employment opportunities to 3,651 African American, Asian American, Hispanic and female job applicants at its Rockville headquarters and at field sites in California, Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee. The conciliation agreement entered into by Westat and the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs resolves these and numerous other violations, including a failure to maintain and internally audit its own records.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP investigators discovered that Westat used a selection process that systematically discriminated against 2,153 African American, 825 Asian American and 35 Hispanic job applicants for research analyst, programmer analyst, telephone data collector and field data collector positions, as well as 638 female applicants for survey process staff positions, between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009.

Under the terms of the settlement, Westat will pay a total of $1,500,000 in back wages and interest to 3,651 affected applicants and make 113 job offers to the original class members as positions become available. The company has also agreed to preserve and maintain all employment records, correct record-keeping violations, conduct internal audits, and perform outreach and positive recruitment activities. These efforts are integral to compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Westat is one of the leading research and statistical survey organizations in the United States. Over the past six years, the company has held more than $2.8 billion in federal contracts with agencies including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.

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