Published: Thu, January 19, 2017
USA | By Yvette Dunn

US Department Of Labor Slaps Discrimination Suits On Oracle, JPMorgan

US Department Of Labor Slaps Discrimination Suits On Oracle, JPMorgan

The lawsuit estimates that more than 1,000 female Oracle employees could have been affected by the alleged discrimination. The suit is being brought by the U.S. Department of Labor because it is a federal contractor, providing services, software and hardware to the U.S. government. "It's something I'm sure they take note of", says D. Michael Hancock, a former Department of Labor official who now works as a lawyer at Cohen Milstein.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday with the Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C.

In a similar case, Oracle was accused of systematically "paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title, which led to pay discrimination against female, African American and Asian employees".

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger in a statement said the claims were baseless and "politically motivated", and that the company bases employment decisions on experience and merit. "Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer".

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Oracle refused to comply with the Labor Department's investigation, which began in 2014, such as refusing to provide compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines and employee complaints of discrimination, according to the federal agency.

The complaint further alleges that Oracle favors Asian applicants - specifically, Asian Indians - when hiring, in part because "targeted recruitment, and referral bonuses ... encouraged its heavily Asian workforce to recruit other Asians".

Oracle, accused by the USA government in the federal court of discriminatory hiring practices, said Wednesday those charges were baseless and motivated by politics. While Oracle does indeed get millions per year from the federal government, the company makes several billion dollars in revenue every quarter. The agency also sued Palantir, a data software startup, in September for allegedly discriminating against Asian applicants.

"The handful of OFCCP requests that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we've made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail", the company said in a statement.

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