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Exploring OFCCP's Methods of Communicating Conciliation Agreements

2017-01-02

OFCCP and contractors enter in to conciliation agreements to resolve issues identified during a compliance evaluation.  Contractors rarely admit to guilt and the agreement does not indicate that the contractor has violated any regulations or engaged in unlawful discrimination. Nonetheless, conciliation agreements with or without financial settlements are not the preferred method for closing out an audit.

One of the biggest concerns a contractor has when negotiating with OFCCP to resolve a compliance audit is the impact of negative press.  Nobody wants to see their company name spread out on an OFCCP news release because there is also a chance that local newspapers will grab it for further circulation.  Ever wonder how and why OFCCP selects contractors for publicizing?  In reviewing FY 2016 Conciliation Agreements (CAs), we discovered that there are several mechanisms of publication.  The most common known and probably the most feared method of communication is the OFCCP press release; however, details about settlements are also listed on the OFCCP Freedom of Information Act webpage and also on the Class Member Locator Case Summary webpage.  Both of these OFCCP webpages include a copy of the signed agreements.  Even though portions of the agreement are redacted, information about the monetary settlement and other remedies, including the names and titles of contractor signatories, are in plain sight of any reader.  

What is interesting is that there appears to be no consistency or pattern of what is posted and where. In some cases there is overlap of postings but we did not find any that were communicated using all three methods.
The following four conciliation agreements were listed on the Class Member Locator and FOIA webpages with no corresponding OFCCP press release.  We have identified the date of the agreement, contractor, basis/issue and settlement.

  • June 2016Alsco Inc. – gender/hiring - $7,758 and extend 5 job offers.
  • June 2016Murray Guard, Inc. – gender/hiring - $200,000 and extend 16 job offers
  • September 2016Folgers Coffee Company – race/hiring - $200,000 and extend 21 job offers; set aside $10,500 to pay 21 hires $500 in lieu of retroactive seniority.
  • September 2016Sears, Roebuck and Co – race/hiring - $107,500 and extend 12 job offers.
The following financial conciliation agreements were listed on the FOIA list but were excluded from the Class Member locator list and were not communicated in a press release.
  • December 2015 - Schwan’s Global Supply Chain, Inc. – race and gender/hiring - $310,000 and extend 96 job offers.
  • December 2015 - Baker & Taylor, LLC (formerly Baker & Taylor, Inc.) – race and gender/hiring - $181,000 and extend 22 offers
  • December 2015 - Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation – reasonable accommodation from a complaint - $60,000
  • December 2015 - C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.–  gender/hiring - $85,000 and extend 26 job offers
  • February 2016 - Reynolds Consumer Products, LLC – race/hiring - $86,000 and extend seven job offers
  • March 2016 - Angelica Textile Services, Inc.  – sex/pregnancy and disability - $65,000
  • May 2016 - Asbestos Specialist Inc. (joint CA with EEOC and EEOC published a press release) – national origin/harassment) - $100,000
  • June 2016 - Coca Cola Bottling Co. – complaints by two white employees who were hired pursuant to a consent decree – administration of training programs, retaliation, termination - $86,300
  • June 2016 - Integris – gender/hiring - $232,690 and extend 13 job offersJune 2016 - Pacific Seafood – race/hiring - $82,000 and give priority offers to laid off employees to a total of 67 job offers
It is clear that there does not appear to be one central location for communicating conciliation agreements.  Contractors can only hope that their agreements are excluded from one or all of these forms of communications.

Disclaimer: The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.