April 20, 2010

SUMMARY OF DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS MADE TO OFCCP IN FISCAL YEARS 2004-2010

by David Cohen, President, DCI Consulting Group

As described in an earlier DCI client update, the Department of Labor released a database summarizing recent OFCCP enforcement activity. One interesting section of that database lists individual complaints of discrimination made to OFCCP from Fiscal Years 2004-2010. DCI staff summarized data from multiple spreadsheets to produce these tables. These include complaints of discrimination made under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Executive Order 11246.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify meaningful trends across OFCCP complaint data. However, this in and of itself is an interesting finding, primarily because very few complaints are made to OFCCP in any given year regardless of mandate. In fact, the number of complaints made within mandate was oftentimes less than 1% of the number of audits OFCCP conducts in a given year. This finding isn’t particularly surprising for complaints made under EO 11246 and Section 503, because the EEOC enforces similar statutes that offer more lucrative settlements (compensatory and punitive damages) for victims of discrimination.

In the case of complaints made under VEVRAA, OFCCP data suggest that this was the most common mandate that complaints were made under (n=352), yet only about 3% (n = 11) of those claims led to a finding of discrimination. One interesting finding is that, in many cases, the mandate that a complaint was made under eventually led to a finding of discrimination against a group that was not protected under that mandate (e.g., pregnancy and religion discrimination findings stemming from VEVRAA complaints), accommodation findings stemming from EO 11246 complaints, etc.). In summary, based on data released by DOL, complaints of discrimination appear to be made very infrequently to OFCCP, and result in very few actual findings of discrimination.

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DCI Consulting is a risk management human resources consulting firm strategically located in Washington, D.C.

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