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Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update

OFCCP Announced a Series of Consent Decrees Impacting Contractors Prior to the Government Shutdown

Posted in Compensation, Department of Labor, Discrimination, OFCCP

Medtronic, Inc. and Medtronic Interventional Vascular, Inc.

A Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) approved a consent decree on September 16, 2013 between the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) and Medtronic, Inc. (“Medtronic”) to settle claims of national origin discrimination in pay.

In a July 2008 compliance review of the Medtronic facility in Danvers, Massachusetts, OFCCP found that Medtronic discriminated against minorities based on their national origin with regard to their compensation.  OFCCP alleged Medtronic violated Executive Order 11246 by compensating Hispanic senior production associates “significantly less per year” than white employees in the same position.  Medtronic also allegedly violated the Executive Order by failing to identify and provide complete relief to the affected Hispanic personnel.

Under the consent decree, which does not represent an admission of wrongdoing, Medtronic agreed to pay $290,000 in back wages and interest to 78 class members.  Further, it agreed to provide equal employment opportunity training to pay-setting employees at the Danvers facility.

The Medtronic consent decree highlights OFCCP’s continued enforcement effort in investigating and resolving pay discrimination.  According to OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, “[b]ecause pay discrimination is often hidden from workers, OFCCP’s enforcement in this area is essential. I am pleased that we were able to work with Medtronic to finally resolve this case, provide compensation to the affected workers and fix the pay practices that led to this disparity in the first place.”

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

A Department of Labor ALJ approved a consent decree on September 19, 2013 between OFCCP and C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. (“C&S Wholesale”) to settle claims of sex bias in hiring.

As a result of a compliance review of C&S Wholesale’s Birmingham Logistics Facility (“Facility”) in Birmingham, Alabama, OFCCP found that the Facility engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against female applicants. OFCCP alleged C&S Wholesale discriminated against a class of 198 female applicants they rejected for Selector positions in 2006.

Under the consent decree, C&S Wholesale agreed to pay $100,000 in back pay and interest to the class.  C&S Wholesale further agreed to provide retroactive seniority to 29 of the class members “consistent with union preferential recall obligations” and to submit periodic progress reports to the OFCCP.