The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) recently settled a case involving allegations of gender discrimination with federal contractor, Integris Mental Health (“Integris”). As part of the settlement, OFCCP and Integris entered into a conciliation agreement, governing the terms of the settlement.
OFCCP found that Integris “discriminated against female applicants for occasional, part-time Mental Health Worker positions,” over a two year period. This “pattern or practice of discrimination” impacted 439 female applicants. Additionally, OFCCP determined that Integris “discriminated against female applicants for full-time Mental Health Worker positions” over a two year period. This “pattern or practice of discrimination” impacted 53 female applicants.
While the conciliation agreement expressly states that Integris does not admit to committing these violations, Integris has agreed to pay members of the class of 492 female applicants (the “class members”) a total of $232,690.50. In addition, the conciliation agreement requires Integris to engage in efforts to hire 13 class members as positions become available, but not more than one year after the conciliation agreement’s effective date. Moreover, the conciliation agreement obligates Integris to immediately cease using its current hiring practices and to implement revised hiring practices within 30 days.
This settlement should serve as a reminder that contractors must consistently monitor compliance with OFCCP regulations. OFCCP is actively searching for discrimination in the hiring practices of contractors, so contractors should be vigilant in reviewing and, if necessary, revising their recruiting and hiring practices to ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to all candidates. As part of this process, contractors should conduct a privileged audit on an annual basis to assess whether their hiring data reflects any statistical significant disparities in the hiring of protected groups and, if so, explore the basis for those disparities.