consent decree settles the department's allegations that
Whirlpool engaged in hiring discrimination from March 1,
1997 to February 28, 1998
U.S. Department of
Labor announced that
Corp. has agreed to settle findings of discrimination
against about 800 African-American job applicants. The company
will pay a total of $850,000 in back wages as part of the
"Federal contractors should be upholding the highest
standards of fairness in employment and compliance with the
law," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "In addition to
the financial settlement in this case, I am pleased that 48
applicants will now be receiving jobs."
During a routine compliance evaluation, investigators from
the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Programs (OFCCP) found that Whirlpool's hiring practices had a
disparate impact on African-Americans applying for entry-level
assembler positions at the Tulsa manufacturing facility.
The consent decree settles the department's allegations that
Whirlpool engaged in hiring discrimination from March 1, 1997 to
February 28, 1998, although the company admits no liability. In
addition to paying the back wages, Whirlpool will hire 48 of the
rejected African-American applicants.
Whirlpool has contracts with the federal government. Part of
the company's applicant screening process was the administration
Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) which
disproportionately eliminated African-American applicants from
job consideration. Although an employer can use a test as a
screening tool, if the test disproportionately eliminates
applicants in a protected group, such as females or minorities,
then the employer must conduct a validity study to ensure that
the test is job-related and consistent with company needs.
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