Federal Contractor to Hire 171 Employees and Pay $1,253,611 in Back Wages for Discrimination Against African Americans and Women

Friday, October 9, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has found that Fastenal Company, North America's leading distributor of fastening products and a federal government contractor, discriminated against 171 job applicants who sought general warehouse positions at two of its distribution facilities in Indianapolis and Atlanta.

OFCCP also found that, during its investigation, the company destroyed or failed to provide various employment records from both facilities in an alleged attempt to hinder the investigation.

Under the conciliation agreements with OFCCP, Fastenal has committed to hire 154 African American and 17 female class members and will pay $1,253,611 in back wages and interest to the 7,398 African American and 1,055 female job applicants in the affected class. The company did not admit liability. The violations occurred while Fastenal received more than $35 million in government contracts for its products. 

Investigators from OFCCP's Indianapolis and Atlanta offices found that the company engaged in screening and testing practices that discriminated against African Americans and women. As part of the settlement, Fastenal has agreed to discontinue use of its written test and to revise its hiring and recordkeeping practices to ensure they fully comply with the laws and regulations that apply to federal contractors.

Based in Winona, Minnesota, Fastenal produces threaded fasteners, such as bolts, nuts, screws, and washers used in manufactured products and building projects. The company also sells a wide range of other industrial and commercial supplies. Fastenal operates approximately 2,700 stores located primarily in North America with additional locations in Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and Africa. The company also has 14 distribution centers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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. 

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. 

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