OFCCP Announces Three Multimillion Dollar Bias Settlements

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By: Connie N. Bertram and Jack Blum

The OFCCP opened the month of October by announcing three multimillion dollar settlements with major government contractors.  The agency entered into early resolution conciliation agreements with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Dell Technologies, Inc. to resolve claims that they engaged in race and gender discrimination in compensating employees.  Also, Bank of America NA will pay $4.2 million to resolve claims that a predecessor company engaged in hiring discrimination.

Goldman Sachs will pay nearly $10 million to approximately 600 workers at its New York City headquarters and Dell will pay $7 million (with a credit for $1.5 million previously paid in another settlement) to resolve 20 ongoing OFCCP compliance evaluations.  Goldman Sachs will also move from establishment-based to functional affirmative action programs (FAAPs) as part of the settlement.  Because Goldman Sachs and Dell settled through OFCCP’s early resolution program, the establishments in question will not be subject to further compliance evaluations for five years.

In each case, the employer released a statement noting that OFCCP’s claims resulted from statistical analyses by the agency that the contractor disputed.  These major settlements emphasize the need for thorough self-auditing to identify and fix potential compensation and hiring vulnerabilities before contractors are required to submit data for OFCCP review and analysis as part of compliance evaluations.