On January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a complaint against Oracle America, Inc. (Oracle), alleging discrimination in the company’s compensation, recruiting, and hiring practices.
The complaint specifically alleges “systemic compensation discrimination” against employees that are not Caucasian males, and a “pattern and practice of hiring discrimination” for technical roles against applicants that are not Asian. Oracle allegedly has “gross disparities” in pay between women, African-American, and Asian-American employees and their male, Caucasian counterparts even after controlling for factors such as job title, prior work experience, and company tenure. Additionally, despite an overrepresentation of Asian applicants within the applicant pool, Oracle still allegedly gave them preference over other, equally qualified applicants.
The lawsuit was filed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), part of the Department of Labor, following an investigation into Oracle’s equal employment opportunity practices. The OFCCP found discrimination in their investigation and issued a Notice of Violations followed by a Notice to Show Cause, asking Oracle to show why OFCCP should not initiate enforcement proceedings, but as conciliation efforts failed, they proceeded to file the complaint.
The OFCCP is involved because Oracle is a federal contractor and has received hundreds of millions in federal government contracts. Federal contractors must comply with anti-discrimination laws, so the OFCCP asks that all Oracle’s government contracts be canceled and that it be debarred from receiving future federal contracts if it does not provide the relief requested in the lawsuit.
Oracle has denied the allegations through a statement by spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger. She described the claims as unfounded and “politically motivated.” She claims that the company “values diversity and inclusion.”
JP Morgan has received a similar complaint, alleging discrimination against female employees in compensation practices. Both complaints, however, could be dropped once the Department of Labor is passed to Andy Puzder, Trump’s pick for secretary, who has not expressed the same level of interest in workplace equality as his predecessor, Tom Perez.