In a settlement reached with the United States Department of Labor, Federal Express agreed to pay $3,000,000 to resolve accusations of employment discrimination in their hiring practices. These claims included racial, sexual and national origin discrimination.
Under the settlement agreement FedEx has agreed to make system wide changes to fix any discriminatory hiring practices and to offer jobs to 1,703 applicants who were turned down for jobs as part-time package handlers.
Patricia Shiu, director of the contract compliance office with the Department of Labor says this settlement with Fed Ex was the largest settlement her office reached in 8 years. In 2004, the Department of Labor reached a settlement with Wachovia after discovering that more than 2,000 of the bank’s female employees were earning less than their male counterparts.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Fed Ex needed to do the right thing “when you do business with the government.”
Michael J Zimmer who is an employment discrimination professor at Loyola University believes that the amount of the settlement “was modest.” What was more important were the changes that Fed Ex agreed to in their hiring practices. Professor Zimmer believes that most discrimination cases do not involve hiring but are usually involve “terminations, sexual harassment or promotion.s”
Fed Ex spokesperson, Patrick Fitzgerald said that Fed Ex believed that the Department of Labor’s findings were not supported by the law. “We admitted no wrong doing. The allegations and the whole drive for settlement were based on a computer statistical analysis, rather than on y any individual complaints or investigation”