$537,000 Settlement in Sex Discrimination Case Against Federal Contractor

Friday, September 12, 2014

GE Lighting LLC has agreed to settle allegations of hiring discrimination following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Under the terms of the agreement, the federal contractor will pay $537,000 in back wages and interest to 102 women who were rejected for entry-level attendant positions at the company's Bucyrus facility. GE Lighting will also extend job offers to at least five of the original class members as positions become available.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP investigators found that GE Lighting used the WorkKeys test as part of its selection process, even though it was not properly supported by a validation study that satisfies the requirements of the "Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures." The agency concluded that GE Lighting's hiring process systematically discriminated against female applicants, a violation of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sex. GE Lighting has already ceased using the WorkKeys test, revised its selection process to ensure equal opportunity for all applicants and invited women to reapply under the revised hiring procedures. It has also extended one of the five job offers.

GE Lighting is a subsidiary of the Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co. In the past two years, GE Lighting held more than $1.8 billion in federal contracts to provide machines and equipment to the Air Force, Navy, Army and Defense Logistics Agency.

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