The bank's “unfair and inconsistent selection criteria” led to the rejection of qualified black candidates
The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that Bank of America Corp, the second-largest bank in the U.S., was ordered to pay $2.18 million to 1,147 black job applicants for alleged racial discrimination in their hiring process that barred qualified candidates from being hired.
The decision and order made by an administrative law judge at the Labor Department, Linda Chapman, awards back pay and interest to former candidates seeking teller, clerical, and entry-level administrative positions in the bank's hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Chapman concluded in a statement that Bank of America‘s “unfair and inconsistent selection criteria” led to the rejection of qualified black candidates.
About $1.22 million would go to 113 people who were rejected during the hiring process between 2002 and 2005. Another $964,000 would go to 1,034 people who were rejected in 1993.
The Labor Department initially filed its first complaint against Bank of America in 1997. Allegedly, the bank had challenged its authority to pursue the case.
The most recent order followed two settlements of litigation regarding alleged bias that Bank of America disclosed within the last month.
“We are currently reviewing this recommended decision and order,” said Bank of America spokesman, Christopher Feeney. “At Bank of America, diversity and inclusion are part of our culture and core company values. We actively promote an environment where all employees have an opportunity to succeed.”
The Labor Department said Bank of America's, a federally insured financial institution, qualified as a federal contractor, putting it under the OFFCP's purview.
This is not the first time Bank of America has been involved in this type of litigation
In August, the bank reached a $160 million settlement with hundreds of black Merrill Lynch & Co brokers who alleged racial bias in the areas of pay, promotions, and allocation of large accounts.
And in September, it reached a $39 million settlement with female brokers claiming they were paid less than their male counterparts and that they had been deprived of their share of major accounts.
“Judge Chapman's decision upholds the legal principle of making victims of discrimination whole, and these workers deserve to get the full measure of what is owed to them,” said Patricia Shiu, director of the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFFCP).
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