Mental Health Provider Settles OFCCP Sex Bias Claims

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By Jay-Anne B. Casuga

June 20 — An Oklahoma children's treatment center has agreed to settle Labor Department allegations that it discriminated against a class of more than 350 women in hiring, according to a conciliation agreement posted on an agency website.

Integris Mental Health will distribute $232,690 to the class and offer jobs to 13 class members under the settlement with the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The settlement provides an example of the OFCCP's enforcement focus on statistical indicators of bias in federal contractor hiring data.

The OFCCP conducted a compliance review of an Integris treatment center in Spencer, Okla., and analyzed the company's hiring and employment data from December 2010 to December 2012. It found statistically significant hiring disparities between male and female applicants for part-time and full-time mental health worker positions.

“OFCCP found female applicants were much less likely to be hired than similarly situated male applicants,” the agency said in the conciliation agreement posted June 20, alleging that Integris violated Executive Order 11,246, which prohibits sex discrimination by federal contractors.

In addition to the monetary award and job offers, Integris agreed to revise its hiring process; provide training to employees who recruit, select and track applicants; and provide reports of its progress to the OFCCP.

The agreement provides that Integris doesn't admit liability for any alleged violations.

“Integris has long been and remains committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all qualified applicants,” an Integris spokeswoman June 20 told Bloomberg BNA. “We look forward to working with the Department of Labor to further enhance our already diverse workforce.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga in Washington at jcasuga@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at smcgolrick@bna.com

For More Information

The conciliation agreement is available at http://src.bna.com/f3O.