Goodwill Industries of Southern California settles sex discrimination case with US Department of Labor
Agreement includes more than $130,000 in back wages for 200 male applicants and 18 job offers
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that Goodwill Industries of Southern California has agreed to settle allegations of systemic discrimination stemming from the federal contractor’s selection practices. Investigators with the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs determined that Goodwill’s hiring process favored female applicants for entry-level positions as attendants at local donation centers, in part because of perceptions that women have better customer service skills. The investigation concluded that 200 qualified men were denied the opportunity to advance to the offer stage.
“Sex discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, and we are committed to fighting all of them,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “That means getting away from outdated notions about what constitutes ‘men’s work’ and what constitutes ‘women’s work.’ Throughout the past century, both the Labor Department and Goodwill have shared a common purpose of serving the disadvantaged and making workers self-sufficient. This settlement builds on that proud tradition by giving every worker a fair shot at a good job.”
OFCCP’s Los Angeles District Office conducted the investigation. Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Goodwill will pay $130,970 in back wages to the affected individuals and as openings occur will make 18 job offers to qualified men who were not previously offered positions. Goodwill also has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures and training to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with Executive Order 11246, the federal law that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Covered government contractors must take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment.
Goodwill Industries of Southern California operates dozens of retail stores and donation centers in parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Goodwill has more than $2.5 million in contracts with several branches of the U.S. military and federal government agencies in California, and participates in a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration to provide custodial, facilities, grounds maintenance and other services at federal sites as part of its employment training and assistance programs. Proceeds from sales at Goodwill retail stores help support its employment and training services.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.