Placement Agency Denied Recruitment, Referrals, and/or Hire in Violation of Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws
CHICAGO – Aerotek, a national temporary placement agency, has agreed to pay $3.525 million to resolve federal systemic investigations relating to the hiring and placement of individuals assigned to work at Aerotek’s clients, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
According to the EEOC, Aerotek failed to recruit and denied assignments/placements and/or hiring to individuals based on age (over 40), sex and race. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). Aerotek denies it engaged in any discriminatory or unlawful conduct, but the company agreed to resolve the matter with the EEOC rather than through litigation.
Under the agreement, half of the funds will provide relief to two charging parties for alleged violations of Title VII and a class of select older individuals in Illinois who worked as contract employees of Aerotek between October 1, 2012, to March 14, 2014, for alleged violations of the ADEA.
The EEOC and Aerotek agreed the remainder of the funds will be donated to organizations that foster education and employment opportunities for under-served communities, including helping individuals to improve or acquire new skills for second careers.
Aerotek will also continue to conduct annual company-wide training for its employee relations and human resources personnel and client recruiters on the requirements of Title VII and the ADEA, emphasizing non-discriminatory recruitment, hiring, assignment, and placement of employees and applicants. In addition, Aerotek will continue to maintain and distribute to its employees and clients a policy prohibiting compliance with discriminatory requests by clients and will conduct internal EEO audits of its placement of temporary workers; periodically report to the EEOC nationwide job requisitions and placements of temporary employees by race, ethnicity, sex and age; and keep records of and report to the EEOC discrimination complaints by employees and applicants nationwide.
“The EEOC is pleased it was able to reach an agreement with Aerotek to rectify the discrimination uncovered during our investigations over several years. Honoring discriminatory client placement requests is a pervasive problem in the staffing industry the EEOC and the Chicago District in particular, has been trying to combat for some time. This agreement with a national player shows how staffing companies that have a serious commitment to EEO can take affirmative steps to prevent this from happening,” said Julianne Bowman, EEOC Chicago district director. “Other staffing agencies should take heed, and companies need to know they cannot pass off discriminatory hiring decisions to staffing agencies. It’s just as unlawful as engaging in the discrimination themselves, and the EEOC will continue to vigorously enforce the laws against this conduct.”
Dana Baughns, vice president and general counsel of Aerotek, likewise is pleased to have finalized an agreement and collaborated with the EEOC. Baughns said, “Aerotek has been and continues to be committed to being an industry leader when it comes to EEO issues. Aerotek was proactive to create and put in place concrete steps to prevent discrimination before the investigations drew to a close. Aerotek is pleased to partner with the EEOC and work together to achieve our mutual goal of non-discriminatory hiring and placement.”
The ADEA protects employees from discrimination in employment based on age, over 40. Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC.gov)