JEFFERSON, La. (May 1, 2013) — Bertucci Contracting Co. LLC, a federal construction contractor, has settled allegations of hiring discrimination against minority job applicants at its Jefferson facility, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Wednesday.
Investigators with the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs determined that the company’s hiring process violated Executive Order 11246 by creating a disparate impact on African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American job seekers. As a result, 14 qualified minority applicants were denied the opportunity to fairly compete for positions as laborers and deckhands between 2009 and 2011.
“The people of the Gulf Coast have shown tremendous resilience in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill and the Great Recession,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Our job – and the job of taxpayer-funded construction contractors like Bertucci – is to make sure the doors of opportunity are open for all workers who want to be a part of rebuilding and fortifying their communities. This agreement underscores that commitment by facilitating success for the workers, the company and the government agency involved.”
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Bertucci will pay $70,000 in back wages and interest to the 14 affected workers and extend at least six offers of employment – with retroactive seniority – as positions become available. Furthermore, the company will revise its selection process to provide better training for hiring managers, annually review supervisors’ adherence to employment policies and affirmative action obligations, and improve its recruitment efforts in order to avoid future violations.
Bertucci provides a variety of flood control and coastal restoration services, including environmental dredging and disposal, stone placement in vulnerable waterways, and levee construction and armament. During the two-year period reviewed by OFCCP investigators, Bertucci held more than $80 million in government contracts with the U.S. Army.
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.