Ricci Case Was Not the End of the Run

When the Sontomayor confirmation hearings were recently held much to do was made of her decision in the New Haven Firefighters case. Many projected that the use of tests in hiring was going to be greatly impaired. Now this morning the Law Firm of Ford and Harrison reports that A recent announcement by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that Gerber Products Company will pay $900,000 to settle findings of hiring discrimination against 1,912 rejected minority and female applicants may be a reflection of the increased aggressiveness that has been promised by the agency. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis stated that the settlement “should put all federal contractors on notice that the Labor Department is serious about eliminating systemic discrimination.” The hiring disparity was discovered during a scheduled compliance evaluation conducted by the OFCCP. According to agency investigators, the disparity was caused in part by inconsistent selection procedures used for entry-level positions. Additionally, the agency found that the company used pre-employment tests that negatively impacted minority applicants and determined that there was insufficient evidence of validity to support Gerber’s use of the test. Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Gerber will pay 1,912 minority and female applicants $900,000 in back pay and interest and will also provide 61 entry-level positions, 11 of whom have already been hired.
It indicated to employers that OFCCP is serious about routing out these types of situations. Review your hiring procedures and make sure that no one is being given the short end of the process.

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