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The United States Department of Labor has ordered Bank of America to pay damages to approximately 1,147 African American job applicants for back wages and interest due to its race-based hiring discrimination at the company’s Charlotte facility. Because of BOA’s discriminatory practices stemming from 1993 and also between the years of 2002 and 2005, BOA is responsible to a tune of $2,181,593.
What Does This Mean?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s mission is to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.” Based upon the DOL’s decision and order, BOA was found to have “applied unfair and inconsistent selection criteria resulting in the rejection of qualified African American applicants for teller and entry-level clerical and administrative positions.”
Because BOA is a federally-insured financial institution and a federal contractor under the scope of the US DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program, the DOL attempted many times within the past two decades to exert its authority and rules against discriminatory practices over the bank; both were challenged for many years.
Judge Linda S. Chapman, the Administrative Law Judge who oversaw the case, rendered a decision which, according to the OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, “upholds the legal principle of making victims of discrimination whole, and these workers deserve to get the full measure of what is owed to them.”
How Does This Affect You?
In addition to Executive Order 11246, the OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.
These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
If you believe you have been discriminated against due to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or as a protected veteran contact a labor and employment attorney in your State and also go to the U.S. Department of Labor website to learn more about your rights.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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