The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a discrimination lawsuit against tech giant Oracle America, Inc. this month, alleging that the company “paid white male workers more than female, African American and Asian employees with the same job title”.
The department also alleges that Oracle America, which has received millions of dollars in government contracts, had favored hiring Asian workers over non-Asian applicants for product development and technical-related work.
The Company Refused to Provide Employment Records
DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs filed the lawsuit following a compliance review of the company’s equal employment opportunity practices. OFCCP initiated the compliance review at the Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores California in September 2014.
OFCCP issued a Notice of Violation on March 2016, according to legal documents. Before filing the lawsuit, the department attempted to resolve the discrimination issues with the tech company for almost a year. Unfortunately, the discussions were not successful.
During the compliance investigation, the tech company refused to produce employment data and records, according to the department. The information requested included data on employee compensation, hiring for specific business lines, and employee discrimination complaints.
According to some legal documents filed by the department, the systemic compensation discrimination occurred in three lines of business, including 80 job titles, at the California headquarters. Moreover, the department found gross disparities in pay even after controlling for certain factors such as job title, full-time status, exempt status, global career level, job specifications, among others.
Meanwhile, according to the hiring discrimination complaint, Oracle favored Asian Indians against qualified White, Hispanic, and African-American applicants in 69 job titles, for reasons only known by them.
Other legal documents are stating that Oracle violated Executive Order 11246 or the Equal Employment Opportunity policy, which contains provisions prohibiting “discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or national origin.” The department stated that the tech company is obligated as a contractor receiving federal funds to abide by the executive order and its implementing regulations.
Oracle said that the Lawsuit is “Politically Motivated”
In a release, OFCCP said that should the tech company fail to redress the violations raised in the lawsuit, it could result in the cancellation of all of its contracts with the federal government. Moreover, the company will be barred from applying for federal government contracts in the future, should they refuse to settle, according to the department.
Specifically, the department seeks Oracle’s debarment from entering into future government contracts and subcontracts until they have undertaken efforts to remedy the violations and achieve compliance. Moreover, the department is requiring the tech company to provide relief to “the affected classes, including lost compensation, interest, and all other benefits of employment” resulting from the discrimination.
OFCCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd said that
Federal contractors are required to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws. We filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.
According to the department, Oracle has had “at least one contract with the federal government of $50,000 or more.” During the time of filing, the department said that Oracle had multiple government contracts “totaling millions of dollars a year.”
In response, Oracle issued a statement alleging that the lawsuit was “politically motivated.” Safra Catz, the company’s co-CEO, is part of President Donald Trump’s transition team.
Oracle has a global workforce of around 122,000. Out of that total, around 53,000, works for Oracle America. According to a company infographic, the company employs 37 percent minorities and 29 percent women employees. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the California headquarters has over 7,000 employees.
The company said that their emphasis is on providing “a supportive environment that fosters diversity, inclusion, and employee wellness.”
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