First OFCCP Action Stemming from a Sexual Orientation Compliant
OFCCP filed the administrative complaint against AccuWeather Inc. for failing to allow access to conduct an on-site investigation into a sexual orientation discrimination complaint. Even though OFCCP has brought other denial of access claims against government contractors, this is the first that stems from an investigation and not from a compliance review. AccuWeather used “denial of access” as a way to raise the legal question as to whether OFCCP has legal authority to prosecute sexual orientation discrimination; however, they will have to appeal into Federal District Court in order to test OFCCP’s legal authority.
Summary of the Case A former employee of AccuWeather submitted a complaint to the OFCCP claiming that a vice president called her derogatory names, interfered with her work and ultimately fired her because of her sexual orientation. When OFCCP tried to schedule an on-site investigation, AccuWeather denied them access, arguing that it wasn’t a covered federal contractor. Information from the Federal Procurement Data Systems shows that AccuWeather has contracts in excess of $85,000 with the Defense Logistics Agency and the Department of the Navy.
If an ALJ rules against AccuWeather and the company persists in denying OFCCP access, the agency will attempt to cancel existing federal contracts and bar future federal contracting.