National package delivery service FedEx Ground has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that the company’s hiring practices were discriminatory.
The agency, which oversees employment law compliance among companies that do business with the federal government, claimed FedEx regularly refused to hire some applicants because of their sex, race or national origin. Among the alleged victims, 61% were women, 52% black, 14% Hispanic, 2% Asian and 1% Native American.
The case was unusual because no one who experienced discrimination actually complained to the OFCCP. Instead, investigators deduced that discrimination was occurring after they ran a statistical analysis of FedEx hiring records and interviewed company officials. The inquiry was part of OFCCP’s regular audit of federal contractors.
Under the settlement, 21,635 job applicants in 15 states will split the $3 million. The company will also extend job offers to 1,703 previously rejected applicants.
Note: A FedEx representative said the company admitted no wrongdoing and does not believe the law supports the DOL’s position. However, FedEx could not risk disbarment from federal contracting while expensive litigation worked through the courts.