United Space Alliance, a cooperative venture between aerospace giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has refused to turn over payroll records from its Cape Canaveral facility to federal investigators.
The request follows a 2009 investigation of the company’s affirmative action program by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which monitors government contractors. Questions about the consortium’s compensation practices arose, and the OFCCP asked to review the payroll records.
The company not only refused to provide the records, it also refused to allow OFCCP investigators onto its complex at Cape Canaveral.
A Labor Department administrative law judge ordered United Space to turn over the records, but the company appealed to the federal district court in Washington, D.C., which handles most regulatory matters.
Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled in favor of the OFCCP, ordering United Space Alliance to provide the requested documentation.
“The [d]epartment has merely required United Space to submit data about its,” said Lamberth. “Submission to such lawful investigations is the price of working as a federal contractor.”
Note: Federal contracts come with significant government scrutiny. United Space Alliance is working on $8 billion worth of federal contracts. It must realize some strings are attached.
Employers that are proactive about addressing discriminatory pay issues almost always fare better than those that wait for government agencies to force them to comply.