Feds force shipbuilder to pay $159,000 in back wages over hiring discrimination

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – a military shipbuilder and federal contractor based in Newport News, Virginia – has agreed to pay $159,050 in back wages and interest to resolve alleged systemic hiring discrimination violations found in a routine compliance evaluation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

The company has also agreed to make job offers to six eligible class members who express an interest in employment and meet qualifications.

OFCCP alleged that, beginning in 2011, Huntington Ingalls Inc. discriminated in its hiring and selection process against 80 African-Americans who applied for helper laborer positions at its Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard.

Investigators also found the company used a pipefitter helper assessment as a prerequisite for continuing in the hiring process. Huntington Ingalls Inc. used the assessment even though it was not supported by a validation study that satisfies the requirements of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

To ensure future compliance, the company will evaluate and revise its job descriptions, as necessary. Huntington Ingalls will ensure that it trains personnel involved with hiring and selection processes to safeguard non-discriminatory practices.

“Employers must monitor their hiring process to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Southeast Regional Director Samuel B. Maiden, in Atlanta, Georgia.

This article was provided by the Department of Labor.