4/17/17 REUTERS LEGAL 21:00:04
Copyright (c) 2017 Thomson Reuters
April 17, 2017
Bank of America to pay $1 mln to settle racially biased hiring allegations
(Reuters) – Bank of America has agreed to pay $1 million to settle 24-year-old allegations that it systematically denied entry level jobs to black applicants, the U.S. Labor Department announced on Monday.
Bank of America will pay the money in back wages and interest to more than 1,000 applicants for clerical, teller and administrative jobs at the bank’s Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters, according to the department. The bank was represented by McGuireWoods in the matter.
Under the terms of the settlement, Bank of America did not admit to liability. Bank spokesman Andy Aldridge said in an emailed statement that the bank disagrees with the Labor Department’s findings but is glad for the case to be over.
The settlement “is a win for the affected job applicants, for Bank of America and for the department,” Thomas Dowd, acting director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), said in a statement.
The case began with an OFCCP audit of the Charlotte headquarters of NationsBank in 1993, which became part of Bank of America in 1998 after various mergers and acquisitions.
OFCCP filed an administrative complaint in 1997 accusing the bank of intentionally discriminating against black candidates in violation of a 1965 executive order prohibiting government contractors from racially biased hiring and employment practices.
Litigation stretched for more than 15 years. Bank of America challenged the agency’s selection of its Charlotte headquarters for the OFCCP compliance review and that it had consented to regulators’ search of its records. The department in 2008 added another class of applicants who were allegedly discriminated against.
Labor Department Administrative Law Judge Linda Chapman in Washington, D.C. ruled in 2013 that the bank had discriminated against black applicants in 1993 and between 2002 and 2005. She recommended that the bank pay just under $1 million to the first group of applicants and $1.2 to the second group.
In 2016, the department’s Administrative Review Board affirmed Chapman’s ruling for the 1993 group, but reversed her on the 2003 to 2005 group.
Bank of America challenged that ruling at the U.S. District Court for D.C. in 2016, arguing that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The bank said that the administrative ruling was premised on a “fundamental misunderstanding” of systemic discrimination cases, including the proof required and how statistics are used in such cases.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in D.C. has entered an order to stay the proceedings until Bank of America fully complies with the terms of the settlement agreement, according to the Labor Department.
The case is Bank of America v. U.S. Labor Department, U.S. District Court for D.C., No. 16-968.
For the plaintiff: Elena Marcuss of McGuireWoods
For the defendant: Peter Wechsler of the Justice Department
—- Index References —-
Company: BANK OF AMERICA CORP; GREAT NATIONS BANK; MCGUIREWOODS LLP
News Subject: (Civil Rights Law (1CI34); Legal (1LE33); Major Corporations (1MA93))
Industry: (Banking (1BA20); Banking Services for Small Business (1BA68); Commercial Banking Services (1CO19); Financial Services (1FI37))
Region: (Americas (1AM92); North America (1NO39); North Carolina (1NO26); U.S. Southeast Region (1SO88); USA (1US73))
Other Indexing: (Bank of America v.) (Peter Wechsler; Linda Chapman; Thomas Dowd; Andy Aldridge; Elena Marcuss; Amy Berman Jackson)
Keywords: banking; employment (MCC:OVR); (MCCL:OVR); (N2:USA); (N2:AMERS); (N2:NAMER); (N2:US)
Word Count: 446
End of Document © 2017 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
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