Shipping Giant FedEx to Pay $3 Million to Settle Charges of Hiring Discrimination Brought by OFCCP

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [03/22/2012]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-6588 or x4653
Release Number: 12-0507-NAT

Shipping giant FedEx to pay $3 million to settle charges of hiring discrimination brought by US Department of Labor

Company will pay back wages and interest to more than 21,000 applicants rejected for jobs at 23 facilities in 15 states; reform hiring practices

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced that it has entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination by federal contractors FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and FedEx SmartPost Inc., both subsidiaries of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp. The agreement concludes compliance reviews that spanned seven years and numerous FedEx facilities in multiple states, and includes the largest single financial settlement negotiated by OFCCP since 2004.

“We are committed to building an economy that lasts — one in which every qualified worker gets a fair shot to compete for jobs, and every employer plays by the same set of rules,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This settlement is proof that we will aggressively protect workers, promote workplace diversity and enforce the laws governing federal contractors.”

During a series of regularly scheduled reviews, OFCCP compliance officers found evidence that FedEx’s hiring processes and selection procedures violated Executive Order 11246 by discriminating on the bases of sex, race and/or national origin against specific groups identified at 23 facilities in 15 states. The affected workers include men and women as well as African-American, Caucasian and Native American job seekers, as well as job seekers of Hispanic and Asian descent. The reviews also uncovered extensive violations of the executive order’s record-keeping requirements.

Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, the companies will pay a total of $3 million in back wages and interest to 21,635 applicants who were rejected for entry-level package handler and parcel assistant positions at 22 FedEx Ground facilities and one FedEx SmartPost facility. FedEx also has agreed to extend job offers to 1,703 of the affected workers as positions become available. The 21,635 rejected job seekers represent one of the largest classes of victims of any case in OFCCP’s history.

“Being a federal contractor is a privilege and means you absolutely, positively cannot discriminate, not when you are profiting from taxpayer dollars,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Under this agreement, FedEx will have to really examine and revamp its hiring practices across the entire company. The American people ought to have confidence that one of our nation’s most trusted brands will not tolerate discrimination.”

In addition to the financial remedies and job offers, FedEx Ground has committed to wide-ranging reforms. The company has promised to correct any discriminatory hiring practices, develop and implement equal employment opportunity training, and launch extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law. FedEx Ground also has agreed to engage an outside consultant to perform an extensive review of the company’s hiring practices and provide recommendations to change and improve those practices, to train incumbent and future supervisors and employees, and to monitor compliance with the equal employment opportunity laws enforced by OFCCP. Finally, the company will take necessary steps to comply with all record-keeping requirements.

FedEx Ground is based in Coraopolis, Pa. The 22 FedEx Ground facilities where OFCCP found violations are located in Sun Valley and Sacramento, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; Ellenwood, Ga.; Carol Stream and Chicago, Ill.; Indianapolis and Jeffersonville, Ind.; Lenexa, Kan.; Livonia, Mich.; St. Paul, Minn.; South Hackensack, N.J.; Albany and Brooklyn, N.Y.; Greenville, N.C.; Addyston and Grove City, Ohio; Lewisberry, Pa.; Fort Worth, Houston and South Houston, Texas; and North Salt Lake City, Utah. OFCCP also conducted compliance evaluations at two FedEx Ground facilities in Phoenix, Ariz., and San Antonio, Texas, but found no violations.

FedEx SmartPost is based in New Berlin, Wis. The FedEx SmartPost facility where OFCCP found violations is located in Charlotte, N.C.

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 those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to 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. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

OFCCP Settles Charges of Racial Discrimination with Iowa City, Iowa-Based Federal Contractor NCS Pearson

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [03/15/2012]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Release Number: 12-0403-KAN

US Labor Department settles charges of racial discrimination with Iowa City, Iowa-based federal contractor NCS Pearson

Agreement includes $100,000 in back wages and interest for 67 Asian applicants

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced that federal government contractor NCS Pearson Inc. has agreed to settle allegations of hiring discrimination on the basis of race involving 67 Asian job applicants who were rejected for associate software developer positions at the company’s Iowa City, Iowa, facility.

“All workers deserve a fair shot to compete for and secure good jobs, and it is incumbent upon companies that do business with taxpayer dollars to make sure that the doors of opportunity are truly open to everyone,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, a member of the federal Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. “President Obama has articulated his commitment to protecting the civil rights of our nation’s rapidly growing Asian American communities, and I’m pleased that we were able to work out a settlement which will provide financial relief and jobs for workers who were denied their fair shot.”

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that NCS Pearson violated Executive Order 11246 in 2009 by using a hiring process that resulted in systemic discrimination against Asian job applicants at its Iowa City facility. Under the terms of a conciliation agreement signed by NCS Pearson and OFCCP, the contractor will pay $100,000 in back wages and interest to the 67 affected job seekers, and will offer associate software developer 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 future applicants.

NCS Pearson, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British company Pearson PLC, holds more than $12 million in federal contracts to conduct research and development for the U.S. Department of Education. The company provides educational materials, electronic learning programs and test development, processing and scoring services to educational institutions and corporations around the world.

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 those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to 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. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

EEOC Issues Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with Disabilities

PRESS RELEASE
2-28-12

EEOC Issues Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with Disabilities

User-Friendly Documents Clarify Impact of ADAAA; Commission Will Participate in Employment Conference Sponsored by U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued two revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both documents are available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which make it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments – including those that are often not well understood — such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully.  [Prior to the ADA Amendments Act, the ADA’s definition of the term “disability” had been construed narrowly, significantly limiting the law’s protections.]

The revised documents are also an outgrowth of a public meeting the EEOC held on Nov. 16, 2011 entitled “Overcoming Barriers to the Employment of Veterans with Disabilities.” In that meeting, the Commission heard testimony from a panel of experts on the unique needs of veterans with disabilities transitioning to civilian employment.  The particular challenges faced by veterans with disabilities in obtaining employment has been the subject of increased attention in recent months, as large numbers of veterans return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Guide for Employers explains how protections for veterans with service-connected disabilities differ under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and how employers can prevent disability-based discrimination and provide reasonable accommodations.

The Guide for Wounded Veterans answers questions that veterans with service-related disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look for civilian jobs. The publication also explains the kinds of accommodations that may be necessary to help veterans with disabilities obtain and successfully maintain employment.

“We want veterans with disabilities to know that the EEOC has resources to assist them as they transition to, or move within the civilian workforce,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The release of these publications demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that veterans with disabilities receive the full protection of the laws we enforce, and that employers understand how to comply with those laws.”

On February 27-28 the EEOC will give presentations at an employment conference for severely injured U.S. Army personnel at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, sponsored by the Department of the Army’s Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Program. The presentations will provide information to employers about the employment of veterans with disabilities and the ADA, and training for severely injured soldiers to help them learn their rights under the ADA as they seek civilian employment.

Over the past decade three million veterans have returned from military service and another one million are expected to return to civilian life over the course of the next five years with the anticipated drawdown of operations in the Middle East. According to an October report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for post-9/11 era veterans hovers around 12 percent, which is more than three percentage points higher than the overall unemployment rate.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.