Tech Company Sued For Alleged Hiring Bias Against Asians, OFCCP’s Shiu To Step Down

by Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Contact

Being part of the “in” crowd with the FBI apparently does not protect you from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

To the contrary: It was an FBI contract that subjected a California-based technology company to an OFCCP review that has resulted in an administrative complaint.

Palantir Technologies is a large government contractor with more than $340 million worth of federal contracts with the FBI, the U.S. Special Operations Command, and the U.S. Department of the Army. According to the Wall Street Journal, Palantir assisted the government in finding Osama bin Laden.

But that apparently doesn’t cut any ice with the OFCCP. The Agency filed a complaint last month with the Office of Administrative Law Judges, alleging that Palantir systematically discriminated against Asian job applicants in its hiring process and selection procedures. The lawsuit follows a compliance review conducted by the OFCCP in 2011 and a failed conciliation process. Specifically, the OFCCP alleges that the company used a discriminatory hiring and selection process that resulted in discrimination against Asian applicants for three engineering positions.

bin Laden death.flickrCC.JimLarrison

“Not even THIS will get me out of an OFCCP audit?”

According to the OFCCP, one job classification with seven vacant positions had a pool of 730 qualified applicants, 77 percent of whom were Asian. According to the Complaint, Palantir hired six non-Asians and only one Asian. Another job classification with 25 available positions was identified as having a pool of more than 1160 applicants, 85 percent of whom were Asian. The OFCCP says that Palantir hired 14 non-Asian applicants and 11 Asian applicants for this position. The final job classification had 21 available positions. Out of a pool of 130 applicants, 73 percent of whom were Asian, Palantir hired 17 non-Asian and four Asian applicants. The OFCCP identified the adverse impact in these three positions as exceeding 3 to 6 standard deviations.

The OFCCP also asserts that the company’s practice of relying on employee referrals (presumably from Caucasian incumbents) resulted in disproportionate hiring of Caucasian candidates.

According to Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram, Palantir contends that the OFCCP’s analysis is faulty and ignores the majority of evidence and data regarding the company’s 44 job titles and overall hiring process. Palantir relies on its own statistical evidence showing that 36 percent of all hires for the company were Asian—a percentage that it contends far exceeds the representation rate of Asians in the job market.

With such big stakes in the game — and with an analytics company on the receiving end of the OFCCP’s ire — it will be an interesting battle to watch. The OFCCP is seeking lost wages and other benefits for the affected class and an order barring Palantir from entering into future government contracts.

Patricia Shiu.flickrCC.Center for American ProgressShiu Departing OFCCP

In other OFCCP news, Patricia Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, has announced that she will leave the Agency effective November 6, two days before Election Day. An interim director is likely to be appointed until “President Clinton” or “President Trump” has the opportunity to make a permanent appointment.

Image Credits: From flickr, Creative Commons license: Newspapers announcing bin Laden’s death by Jim Larrison, Patricia Shiu by Center for American Progress.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Contact
more
less

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.