September 30, 2014

STEERING INTO TROUBLE: TWO MORE COMPANIES SETTLE WITH OFCCP

The third blog in our steering series highlights a recent OFCCP settlement related to steering at Central Parking Systems of Louisiana, Inc.  On September 4, 2014, the OFCCP issued a press release indicating that Central Parking has agreed to pay $275,000 in back wages and interest to female and black applicants.

104 women and 91 African Americans were rejected as valets at Central Parking’s New Orleans location.  During the investigation, OFCCP alleged that qualified Africans Americans who applied for positions between 2007 and 2009 were hired at a significantly lower rate than other racial subgroups.  Additionally, OFCCP alleges that qualified women who applied for valet positions were in fact steered into lower paying cashier positions, which are positions not eligible to receive tips.

On September 17, 2014, the OFCCP issued another press release indicating that Fort Myer Construction has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a variety of discrimination and harassment allegations.  A portion of the settlement money will be used to resolve pay discrimination charges stemming from an allegation that some Hispanic and African American workers were assigned to projects paying different rates and sometimes fewer hours.  However, in light of some of the other allegations in this settlement, the steering portion becomes overshadowed.  There were additional allegations including sexual harassment, intimidation, and potential retaliation for speaking with Department of Labor officials.

Neither of these press releases provides detailed explanation regarding how these individuals were steered into the lower paying positions.  However, there are still a number of ways to protect your organization against steering allegations.  Regarding steering at time of hire:

  • Use separate requisitions for separate jobs and positions,
  • Use valid selection procedures, and
  • Use a standard and neutral procedure to place successful applicants.

Regarding steering related to job assignments:

  • Use a written, standard and neutral procedure to place employees in assignments,
  • Ensure that procedure is followed, and
  • Periodically review assignments to determine if protected subgroups are being disproportionately funneled into certain assignments.

Please reference our first blog on steering for additional information.

Stay tuned!

By: Kristen Pryor, Associate Consultant, and Joanna Colosimo, Senior Consultant at DCI Consulting Group 

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