In a rare but significant decision involving pay discrimination claims brought by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) against a federal contractor, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has ruled that the agency failed to prove that any observed compensation disparities were the result of intentional sex discrimination, or that the contractor’s policies caused a disparate impact on female employees.

The Recommended Decision and Order (RDO) by ALJ Colleen Geraghty in OFCCP v. Analogic Corp., 2017-OFC-00001 (ALJ March 22, 2019), rejected OFCCP’s statistical analysis, noting that the agency failed to account for factors that the company actually used in setting compensation. Judge Geraghty’s RDO also cast doubt on OFCCP’s purported anecdotal evidence of discrimination against female employees, referring to it as “vague and general,” and “weak and unpersuasive.”     

Although the decision is subject to review by the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Administrative Review Board (ARB), the disparate treatment and disparate impact frameworks applied in the ALJ’s ruling present a compelling legal rationale for how both contractors and OFCCP should be evaluating compensation practices for potential discrimination.

The ALJ’s RDO in OFCCP v. Analogic Corp. is available online.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.