FY 2008 is Record Year in Employment Discrimination Compensation

In fiscal year 2008, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) won a record $67,510,982 in back pay, salary, and benefits for an unprecedented 24,508 American workers who had been subjected to unlawful employment discrimination.

"We are proud of these results which demonstrate our commitment to enforcing the law," said Charles James, deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. "This is our fourth consecutive record-breaking year in the categories of workers helped and amounts recovered. Of all the changes of these eight years, the focus on systemic discrimination is by far the most significant for the mission of the agency."

Ninety-nine percent of dollars were collected in cases of systemic discrimination--those involving a significant number of workers or applicants subjected to discrimination because of an unlawful employment practice or policy. The more than $67.5 million reflects a 133 percent increase over financial remedies obtained in FY 2001.

The last eight years of OFCCP enforcement data show a 14 percent increase in the total number of compliance reviews completed versus a similar period in the prior administration. More importantly, OFCCP's more strategic approach resulted in a 92 percent increase in the number of job applicants and employees (113,630) who financially benefited from OFCCP investigations and more than $50 million in additional back pay salary and benefits versus the prior administration.

Since its inception, OFCCP has generally relied on contractor voluntary self-identification to determine companies over which OFCCP has jurisdiction. In FY 2005, OFCCP implemented the Contracts First project to produce a contractor selection list that is based on evidence of actual contracts. This initiative inserts information about contract awards into the database used for selection and scheduling of reviews at facilities.

Additionally, the selection system is enhanced by access to an OFCCP database of facilities where no compliance reviews have been conducted in recent years.

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