Parsons Brinkerhoff settles racial discrimination charges with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Parsons Brinkerhoff, a New York-based federal contractor, has agreed to settle discrimination allegations with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The company was accused of discrimination based on ethnicity and race against 247 applicants rejected after applying for the assistant engineer job openings at the company’s headquarters. The affected class is comprised of 3 Native American, 29 African American, 51 Hispanic, 152 Asian American as well as 12 other mixed-race individuals applying for the position.
OFCCP Settlement and Findings:
- OFCCP found Parsons Brinkerhoff discriminated against 3 Native American, 29 African American, 51 Hispanic, 152 Asian American as well as 12 other mixed-race individuals applying for assistant engineer positions
- OFCCP determined between 2010 and 2012; the company violated Executive Order 11246 for utilizing a systemic discrimination hiring procedure
- Parsons Brinckerhoff did not adhere to their written hiring guidelines and practiced inconsistent selection procedures for screening, interviewing, and hiring engineer assistants.
- Under the conciliation agreement, the company will award $188,043 in back wages with interest to the affected class of applicants.
- Parsons Brinkerhoff must offer assistant engineer jobs and retroactive seniority, to a minimum of four class members when positions become available.
- The federal contractor will also revamp their selection procedures and policies to ensure all prospective applicants have an equal employment opportunity.
The company is a worldwide consulting company responsible for the design, construction, maintaining, and operating significant landmarks. Over the past several years, Parsons Brinkerhoff has acquired upwards of $2.1 million in tax-funded contracts supplied by the Federal Highway Administration, Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, Public Buildings Service, and the U.S. Department of the Army.
The take away:
Had Parson Brinkerhoff established and followed guidelines on selection/hiring procedures, ensured that H.R. and hiring managers were trained, and implemented periodic reporting to measure the adverse impact, it could have avoided the settlement altogether. CRI recommends that contractors review their hiring practices at least semiannually to identify selection disparities and take corrective action to rectify the problem.