OFCCP has determined that a federal food service contractor systematically discriminated against 926 qualified women seeking entry-level warehouse laborer jobs. The contractor does not admit liability, but has settled for $1.85 million and agreed to stop using a pre-hire strength test. [DOL news release] The contractor had hired six females and nearly 300 males, and that made OFCCP wonder what was going on. It turns out the contractor was using a strength test to screen applicants. The majority of women weren't passing the strength test, which used Isokinetic Testing technology to match the physical capability of the applicants with the physical demands of the jobs. No healthcare professional was involved in administering or interpreting the test. And – bottom line – the test was not fully validated.
An OFCCP spokesperson said:
"As for specific lifting requirements, there were none. Rather, the test measured upper and lower body resistance."
The company did not use a lifting test. For a warehouse labor job. Gotta wonder why.
The settlement agreement requires the contractor to pay out $1.85 million to about 920 applicants, and to hire 37 of them when openings arise.