From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
The Labor Department has collected at least $4 million from government contractors in the last decade through investigations of discrimination complaints filed by employees, according to a Bloomberg BNA analysis of government data. And those investigations have the potential to keep increasing.
The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is arguably best known for its government contractor audits, which focus on compliance with various affirmative action and nondiscrimination requirements. The agency conducts several thousand audits per year.
But it also can accept and investigate bias complaints from employees based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and veteran status, based on the audits of government contractors.
Bias complaints received by the OFCCP have grown incrementally since fiscal year 2007, though they’ve leveled off a bit in recent years, according to a Bloomberg BNA analysis of agency enforcement data.
In fiscal 2007, workers submitted 518 complaints to the agency. That number grew by more than 30 percent to 691 complaints received in fiscal 2016, reaching highs of 780 and 790 for complaints received in fiscal years 2012 to 2013.
Complaint investigations that the agency closes every fiscal year have fluctuated since fiscal 2007, between a low of 84 in fiscal 2009 and a high of 232 in fiscal 2013.
The OFCCP has closed about 1,003 complaint investigations from fiscal 2011 through March 8, 2017.
Those complaints contained roughly 1,575 different claims of discrimination.
Of those claims, bias based on disability and veterans’ status appeared most often at 437 and 369, respectively, making up about 28 percent and 23 percent of total claims.
The OFCCP is the only federal enforcement agency that provides affirmative action and nondiscrimination protections based on veteran status.
On March 27, the agency reached a $50,000 disability discrimination settlement with an Iowa munitions manufacturer. The bias claims stemmed from a complaint filed with the OFCCP by two former security officers who alleged their disabilities weren’t reasonably accommodated.
Race and sex discrimination followed with 316 claims and 211 claims, respectively. The majority of race discrimination claims were brought by black workers—about 77.5 percent. Women brought the majority of sex bias claims, at about 73 percent.
Under its governing rules, the OFCCP must accept and investigate complaints that fall within its jurisdiction, that is, when an employee works for a covered government contractor and alleges a type of discrimination prohibited under Executive Order 11,246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.
The OFCCP focuses on systemic discrimination when it analyzes government contractors’ employment data during audits. In other words, the agency tries to identify a companywide pattern, practice or policy that has a discriminatory effect on a broad class of workers.
Generally, it will also keep and investigate complaints alleging systemic discrimination. The agency must refer individual complaints outside of its jurisdiction to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if the EEOC might have jurisdiction over those claims.
However, it appears that the OFCCP has been retaining and investigating more individual complaints than class complaints.
Of the 1,003 complaints closed since fiscal 2011, only 150 included class claims, or about 15 percent. The remainder were individual claims.
The number of complaints that included class claims also appears to be declining, reaching a high of 45 in fiscal 2013 and dropping to 15 by fiscal 2016.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)