FedEx Settles Lawsuit Alleging Discriminatory Hiring Practices
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into a conciliation agreement with FedEx, which it has charged with several acts of hiring discrimination by the company’s federal contractors FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and FedEx SmartPost Inc. After several years of compliance reviews across facilities in multiple states, the agreement includes one of the largest settlements negotiated by the department, and the single largest since 2004. The FedEx subsidiaries were found, on multiple occasions, to have discriminated based on sex, race, and/or national origin. Allegations of discrimination spread across 23 facilities in 15 states.
The terms of the agreement include the payment of $3 million in back wages and interest to nearly 22,000 applicants rejected certain jobs at 23 facilities. FedEx has also agreed to offer jobs to over 1,700 affected workers when positions become vacant. Affected workers include members of both sexes and from all major racial groups including blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans.
Patricia Shiu, Director of OFCCP said, “Being a federal contractor is a privilege and means you absolutely, positively cannot discriminate, not when you are profiting from taxpayer dollars,” she continued, “Under this agreement, FedEx will have to really examine and revamp its hiring practices across the entire company. The American people ought to have confidence that one of our nation’s most trusted brands will not tolerate discrimination.”
In additional to financial remediation, FedEx Ground is required to undergo sweeping hiring practice reforms to correcting non-compliant practices, implement equal employment opportunity training, and oversee the emplacement of far-reaching self-monitoring practices to ensure compliance with labor laws. The company has also committed to hiring a third-party consulting firm to review company-wide hiring practices and offer recommendations to improve upon those practices already in place in addition to monitoring for compliance.