NT Lakis attorneys are pleased to present our latest summary of recent financial settlements arising from complaint investigations and compliance reviews conducted by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). In the last three months, the agency has announced an impressive 18 conciliation agreements (CAs). And as has been the case since the change in administrations two years ago, OFCCP is continuing its concerted effort to close out aging compliance reviews. The majority of these most recently reported settlements involve activity that occurred in the 2011-2015 time frame.
OFCCP’s Mid-Atlantic Region was the busiest, reporting seven of the 18 settlements, which account for nearly $1.2 million in monetary recovery. The Southwest and Rocky Mountain (SWARM) Region was second with four settlements, accounting for nearly $1 million in financial recovery.
While the number of reported settlements is up significantly by historical standards, the monetary recovery figures generally are lower than we have seen in the past. Settlements in this latest batch range from as low as $25,000 to as high as nearly $600,000 for what appears to be a “global” settlement consolidating four different establishment-based audits.
Five of the settlements involve allegations of compensation discrimination, resulting in almost $1.5 million in monetary recovery. Twelve of the 18 involve allegations of hiring discrimination, resulting in almost $2.5 million in monetary recovery, and the remaining settlement involves allegations of harassment and unlawful termination on the basis of national origin. As is often the case, major recordkeeping lapses appear to be a strong contributing factor leading to a majority of these settlements.
Please keep in mind that just because a contractor decides to settle a dispute by way of a conciliation agreement with OFCCP does not necessarily mean the agency’s allegations would hold up in court. In fact, none of the settlements discussed below contains any admission of guilt.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.