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OFCCP Posts Settlement with Contractor Regarding Alleged Hiring Discrimination


Hiring test cited as adversely affecting African Americans resulting in $175,000 settlement.

Continuing the trend seen for many years now, OFCCP has settled with a Federal contractor over alleged hiring discrimination where a hiring test was found to be lacking in the components that meet the requirements for the Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP). The bottom line is that hiring tests must be job-related and such tests should be reviewed and demonstrate validity to remain in use.

If you have older tests or tests that are a stretch in how they link to the actual job requirements in question, it's time to question the test.

See link to Press Release and excerpt from OFCCP text here:


RICHMOND, Va. – A subsidiary of one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies has entered into a conciliation agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to resolve allegations of race-based hiring discrimination.

The Aqualon Company, a subsidiary of global leader Ashland Inc., entered into the agreement after OFCCP determined that – from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012 – Aqualon failed to provide equal employment opportunities to 660 African Americans in the Richmond metropolitan area who applied for entry-level transition operator positions at the company’s facility in Hopewell.

OFCCP found that the company’s action violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on race or color in their employment practices. Ashland has multiple federal contracts worth more than $37 million with the U.S. Department of Navy, the U.S. Department of Army and other federal agencies.

“OFCCP is committed to ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors conduct hiring, promotions, terminations and compensation fairly, without respect to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status,” said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu. “We strongly encourage employers to take proactive steps to come into compliance with the law to prevent workplace discrimination.”

In its scheduled compliance evaluation, OFCCP found Aqualon used a discriminatory test as part of its selection process that adversely affected African-American applicants. The test was not job-related and did not meet the requirements of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company, which has not admitted liability, will pay $175,000 in back pay and interest to the African-American applicants. Aqualon also agreed to hire four of the African-American applicants. Additionally, it has agreed to discontinue use of the test in question for its entry-level positions, and to revise its hiring and recordkeeping practices to comply with Executive Order 11246 and equal employment regulations applicable to federal contractors. The agreement resolves all violations.

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