OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) has alleged that, over a seven year period, FedEx rejected 21, 000 applicants for entry-level package handler and parcel assistant positions at 23 facilities in 15 states on the basis of sex, race and/or national origin. DOL states that “The 21,635 rejected job seekers represent one of the largest classes of victims of any case in OFCCP’s history.” They go on to state that this is “the largest single financial settlement negotiated by OFCCP since 2004”.
The $3million settlement for back wages and interest came with a very harsh statement of the OFCCP director: “Being a federal contractor is a privilege and means you absolutely, positively cannot discriminate, not when you are profiting from taxpayer dollars. 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.”
OFCCP task is to enforce Executive Order 11246, 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.
The OFCCP has a variety of tools at its disposable to ensure compliance with the above regulations. The most important of these tools is auditing contractors to be certain their Affirmative Action Plan is fully compliant.
For more information on federal contractor regulations, please consult with Dick Warren, our specialist in Equal Opportunity Employment (EOE).