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Back Wages, Jobs Awarded in Bias Case

Monday, November 4, 2013

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A global design-build firm has agreed to a six-figure settlement to resolve discrimination claims by hundreds of African American, Hispanic and Asian American job applicants in one year.

A U.S. Department of Labor investigation determined that M.C. Dean Inc. "failed to provide equal employment opportunity to 381 African American, Hispanic and Asian American workers who applied for jobs" in 2010 at the company's Dulles, VA, headquarters outside Washington, D.C.

The company will pay $875,000 to settle the case, DOL said.

Since 2006, M.C. Dean has held more than $600 million in contracts with federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense.

M.C. Dean

M.C. Dean serves a variety of government and industrial clients worldwide. The company has obtained more than $600 million in U.S. government contracts since 2006.

Established in 1949, M.C. Dean Inc. is a design-build and systems integration firm, providing electrical, electronic security, telecommunications, life-safety, instrumentation and control, and command and control systems for a variety of government, industrial and commercial clients.

The former applicants will receive back wages and, for some, future job offers. The company also agreed to review its hiring practices.

Invalid Tests, Qualified Candidates

The contractor "used a set of selection procedures, including invalid tests, which unfairly kept qualified minority candidates from securing jobs as apprentices and electricians," DOL reported after the review by its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

That agency enforces federal contractor compliance with affirmative-action and equal employment opportunity laws. The office protects both employees and job applicants.

MC Dean
Photos: M.C. Dean

M.C. Dean will make payments to 381 applicants from 2010 and offer some of them jobs when they become available.

M.C. Dean has more than 3,500 employees in more than 30 offices throughout the Eastern United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Back Wages, Future Jobs

Under the terms of the agreement, M.C. Dean will pay $875,000 in back wages and interest to 272 African American, 98 Hispanic and 11 Asian American job applicants who were denied employment in 2010.

The contractor will also extend 39 job offers to the class members as opportunities become available, DOL said.

Finally, M.C. Dean has agreed to "undertake extensive self-monitoring measures and personnel training" to ensure that all of its employment practices fully comply with Executive Order 11246.

That order prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color or national origin.

M.C. Dean

M.C. Dean provides electrical and communications services to the commercial sector and promises applicants "exciting, high-profile, state-of-the-art projects."

"Our nation was built on the principles of fair play and equal opportunity, and artificial barriers that keep workers from securing good jobs violate those principles," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu.

"I am pleased that this settlement will provide remedies to the affected workers and that M.C. Dean has agreed to invest significant resources to improve its hiring practices so that this never happens again."

   

Tagged categories: Business management; Enforcement; Government contracts; Hiring; Workers

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