Setting Things Right

Filed in Workplace Rights by on November 22, 2011 11 Comments

Secretary Solis’s vision of “good jobs for everyone” is one of the Labor Department’s top priorities. Unfortunately, not all workers are treated fairly in the workplace. The role of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is to address just that situation by ensuring non-discrimination, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action by federal contractors.

Most of our work is self-initiated, meaning we don’t wait for someone to file a complaint alleging discrimination to begin an investigation. Often we find that people are not aware of the unfair and illegal treatment they have been subjected to and some are even unaware of their rights — specifically that they shouldn’t be treated differently because of their sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. And we also find that those involved in the actual hiring process are ignorant of such laws as well.

Recently, OFCCP reached an agreement with contractor Nishimoto, which agreed to pay $400,000 in back wages and interest to 71 women who were rejected for sales associate positions when they applied at the company’s facility in Santa Fe Springs, California. Nishimoto, which holds federal contracts worth $1.2 million with the U.S. Department of Defense, also agreed to extend job offers to 14 of these women as sales associate positions become available.

In this case, we found that women were treated differently due to cultural biases held by individuals directly involved in the hiring process. So in order to prevent this from happening again, it was essential that the agreement included provisions for Nishimoto to immediately correct any discriminatory practices, improve training for personnel involved in the hiring process, and undertake self-monitoring to ensure that all employment practices comply with the law.

These actions will have a direct impact, not just for the rejected female applicants, but also in benefitting future applicants at Nishimoto’s offices throughout the United States – in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas and Washington.

OFCCP’s role is to correct past discrimination and make sure that steps are taken to ensure equality in the future. As a federal contractor, Nishimoto’s obligation is to ensure equal employment opportunity and affirmative action in its workforce.

Agreements like this show the importance of the work that my agency does – to correct a wrong and set things right so that everyone can get an equal shot at a good job.

The author, Jane Suhr is the District Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Los Angeles District Office.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Gregg says:

    ” Setting things right “Are you people serious with this article? How can you promise against discrimination when your own Department of labor investigator general blasted you OSHA 11(c) whistleblower protection program and stating it has not worked for twenty years fot not protecting against discrimination?
    Not to mention the government accountabilty office also investigated 11(c) with the same outcome of the dol investigator general.DOL has got to be kidding with this article. Dol discriminates against me by not even posting my comments that follow the guidelines.
    Gregg S

  2. Gregg says:

    It states in the article above how OFCCP’s role is to correct past discrimination. Do i call pat shiu of OFCCP for this help in my past discrimination that my employer took against me for protected activity?
    Gregg S

  3. Gregg says:

    Will OFCCP protect me after two my employer’s managers pulled me into the company confrence room and before i could sit down the one manager stated “Because your the one who called OSHA were giving you a three day suspenion”. my emediete response was “Wait a minute where’s (Shop stewards name)?
    Management angerly replied “He’s in the refinery if you have a problem with it call the f@#king union”. meeting ended.This employer has equipment on fedreal construction sites so do they have to play by the rules?.
    Like it states in the article above “Ageements like this show the importance of the work my agency does-to correct a wrong and set things right so that everyone has an equal shot at a good job “Hilda Solis”
    So this shows past discrimination so will OFCCP corect this past discrimination? I was told this even violated my winegarten rights but i still stuck with the DOL for protection that i never recived.
    Gregg S

  4. Brooke L. says:

    This is great that the government is taking action against discrimination in the workplace. And it’s interesting that many Americans are simply unaware of their rights in the workplace. It seems like there should be some form of legislation that requires companies to educate their employees of their rights through their human resources departments. That might even be more efficient than having the government continuously conduct investigations.

  5. Xem phim says:

    This is very useful for me.Can you share with us something more like this ??? Thanks.

  6. Gregg says:

    Ms Solis i just read the story in the DOL newsletter dated dec/2 on the whistleblower in florida. How is it possible DOL found the reason unjust for fireing this whistleblower on the grounds for allegedley giving inaccurate and untruthful testimoney?
    But yet DOL could not see this injustice in my whistleblower case where i was terminated five weeks after contacting OSHA on grounds of “my honesty and integrity were in doubt”and this is what is written on the termination paperwork.
    With all that “we” provided OSHA this should be a no brainer including my workhistory.
    Do you think OFCCP would mind giving me a call on this?
    Gregg S

  7. Gregg says:

    Well i see that they charged the upper branch mine owners with 210 million in the settlement for the disaster that killed those miners.So what do you think Ms Solis will that change anything? Those miners knew not to open there mouths about safety problems. Will there be any change in whistleblower protection now Ms Solis?
    From what “WE” have been through with OSHA and OSHA 11(c) i would say probbaly not.
    Ms Solis one of the things that the second 11(c) investigator stated to me at our meeting was “You know gregg you don’nt even have to be right about your accusation to be protected”. Ms Solis i almost fell out of my seat when he said that,I thought what a joke.
    Gregg S

  8. Jon Kelley says:

    This was a pretty awesome decision. In this day and age I am always surprised to hear about gender based discrimination in the work place, much less in the application process. Thank you for keeping us up to date with this, Jane.


  9. Gregg says:

    Ms Shui i just read the paper today about how the federal government is contributing 375 million of a 500 million dollar price tag to move a Sunoco refinery from deptford ,NJ to India. I’m shure my former employer will have there machines on that job.
    Ms Shui how is it that provided DOL/OSHA indisputible company documentation they sent into a Sunoco refinery a five ton JLG lift that i just locked out unsafe on the day they fired me for supposed safety violations?
    Please tell me what is going on here Ms Shui!
    If i missed that problem i would have been fired on the spot and i would have expected to be fired if i missed it!
    The evidence was cut and dry to the point there was no more possible evidence that could have been provided Ms Shui!
    I’m pleading for help in this past discrimination Ms Shui.

  10. Gregg says:

    Would it be possible to set things right with the help of DOL on this point of discrimination against us?
    With the evidence we provided that included emails,time lines, log books, documentation,pictures and more, to the point of this evidence was a prosecuters dream in our whistleblower case.Then i read reports through whistleblower advocacy groups about how DOL retaliates against internal whistleblowers, so i now feel we were discriminated against by DOL.This report above is about discriminatory action right?
    Do you think you can help us Ms Shui?………………..Hello……………..Ms Shui are you there?……………………helloooooooooooo………………..Ms Solis?…………………………helloooooooooo…………….anybody?………………….Dr Michaels are you there?………………………………..helloooooooooooooooooo.

  11. Gregg says:

    When you state that DOL is “setting things right” how is it with all that company evidence we provided that clearly shows retaliation for protected activity in our whistleblower case DOL only took the employer’s position?
    Ms Solis you mentioned in you remarks on dec/6th about the UBB mine disaster that UBB management had kept records for UBB management eyes only in reguards to safety issues.
    So how is it DOL did not take into account how i provided the same type documentation from my employer that clearly showed this activity.The copies i provided were for internal use and to cover the mechanic’s butt if an accident happened?
    Do you think you could answer these questions Ms Solis and set things right?

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