The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), through its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), has filed a lawsuit against Oracle America Inc., a large California-based technology firm that designs, manufactures, and sells software products, and offers services related to its products to the federal government. The suit, which is before the Office of Administrative Law Judges, alleges that Oracle pays white male employees more than their female, African American, and Asian counterparts who hold the same titles. The DOL also alleges that Oracle favored Asian workers, primarily South-Asian workers, in its recruiting and hiring for technical roles at the company.
Oracle Lawsuit Background
The lawsuit is a result of a compliance investigation conducted by OFCCP that began in 2014. Oracle has multiple contracts with the federal government that together total hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Federal contractors are subject to OFCCP compliance reviews to ensure that they are complying with federal employment laws. According to the DOL, Oracle refused to comply with OFCCP’s requests for employment data and records. After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve Oracle’s hiring and salary discrimination violations for nearly a year, OFCCP finally filed suit in January 2017.
What Is at Stake?
The DOL is seeking an injunction from the court ordering Oracle to stop engaging in the discriminatory practices alleged in the complaint. The DOL is also seeking lost compensation and benefits for the class of workers affected by the discriminatory practices. If Oracle does not provide the requested relief, the DOL requests that Oracle’s federal contracts be canceled and that Oracle be prohibited from entering future contracts with the federal government.
Oracle released a statement denying the DOL’s allegations and emphasizing its commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity.