October 24, 2020

Volume X, Number 298


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OFCCP Announces Three Multimillion Dollar Bias Settlements

The OFCCP opened the month of October by announcing three multimillion dollar settlements with major government contractors.  The agency entered into early resolution conciliation agreements with Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Dell Technologies, Inc. to resolve claims that they engaged in race and gender discrimination in compensating employees.  Also, Bank of America NA will pay $4.2 million to resolve claims that a predecessor company engaged in hiring discrimination.

Goldman Sachs will pay nearly $10 million to approximately 600 workers at its New York City headquarters and Dell will pay $7 million (with a credit for $1.5 million previously paid in another settlement) to resolve 20 ongoing OFCCP compliance evaluations.  Goldman Sachs will also move from establishment-based to functional affirmative action programs (FAAPs) as part of the settlement.  Because Goldman Sachs and Dell settled through OFCCP’s early resolution program, the establishments in question will not be subject to further compliance evaluations for five years.

In each case, the employer released a statement noting that OFCCP’s claims resulted from statistical analyses by the agency that the contractor disputed.  These major settlements emphasize the need for thorough self-auditing to identify and fix potential compensation and hiring vulnerabilities before contractors are required to submit data for OFCCP review and analysis as part of compliance evaluations.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 281



About this Author

Conne Bertram Government Contract Lawyer Polsinelli Law Firm

Connie focuses her practice on whistleblower, trade secrets, government contractors and employee mobility counseling and litigation. She frequently conducts confidential internal investigations involving executive-level employees, including alleged fraud, theft or misuse of company data, trade secrets, sexual harassment and code of conduct violations. She routinely counsels, investigates and litigates restrictive covenant and trade secrets disputes between employers and former employees.

Connie has defended complex whistleblower, trade secrets and restrictive...

Jack Blum Polsinelli Employment Attorney

Jack Blum is an associate in the firm’s Employment Disputes, Litigation, and Arbitration practice, where he represents employers in connection with a wide range of employment law issues. Jack has extensive experience in defending employers against claims by their employees in federal and state courts, as well as before government agencies like the EEOC, Department of Labor, and state human rights commissions. Jack aggressively defends his client’s personnel practices and decisions while not losing sight of their underlying business goals and objectives. Jack represents clients in all aspects of complex employment litigation and has advised and defended employer clients regarding a wide variety of employee claims, including:

• Employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
• Wage and hour
• Employment contract disputes
• Independent contractor/employee misclassification audits 
• Tort claims arising out of the employment relationship

Jack also has extensive experience representing parties in litigation arising from employee mobility, including claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements as well as the misappropriation of trade secrets. Significantly, Jack has experience in both prosecuting and defending these claims and is, therefore, able to offer clients a well-rounded assessment of their options and courses of action. Jack also has experience redressing employee data breaches under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Jack also has a background in employment counseling, where he has worked closely with in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and business executives to craft personnel policies that meet the client’s business requirements while complying with applicable laws. Jack has particular experience in assisting clients with issues relating to employee/independent contractor classifications, and regularly advises clients regarding the defensibility of classifications, drafts independent contractor agreements to provide the strongest possible arguments in support of the classification, and defends misclassification claims asserted by employees and government agencies. Jack also walks clients through sensitive personnel actions to reduce the potential for litigation or at least best position the client in the event that litigation is inevitable. Jack draws heavily upon this counseling experience in representing clients in litigation.

During law school, Jack served as a legal intern in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Inspector General where he contributed to several high-profile internal investigations, and also interned with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.