Rolls-Royce to pay $135K to resolve hiring discrimination dispute
Female applicants weren't selected for machine operator jobs at Prince George facility
Reston-based Rolls-Royce North America Holdings Inc. has agreed to pay $135,000 in back wages and interest to 26 female applicants who were not selected for machine operator positions at its Prince George County aircraft component manufacturing facility. The payments were the result of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
“Companies that accept federal contracts must monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices,” OFCCP Regional Director Michele Hodge said in a statement. Rolls-Royce North America Holdings has contracts with the Department of the Navy, Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of the Air Force, the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA and the Department of the Army.
The OFCCP announced Monday that it had entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement with Rolls-Royce North America to resolve the hiring discrimination allegations. The company also agreed to provide job opportunities to four of the female applicants who were affected by the alleged hiring discrimination.
Rolls-Royce North America announced in August that it will be closing down the Prince George factory and laying off all 280 employees by summer 2021, due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It laid off 120 of the plant’s initial 400-person workforce in June 2020.
“Though no confirmed findings were assessed, and as we remain fully compliant under the law, Rolls-Royce embraces the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Office of Federal Contracting Compliance Programs to move forward with an early resolution conciliation agreement,” Rolls-Royce North America Director of Communications Donald Campbell said in a statement. “We are eager to begin the important work of strengthening our hiring practices. It’s important to note that the concerns raised as a result of the OFCCP review were specific to one job classification at one facility, and relate to hiring in 2017 only.”
From Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017, OFCCP alleges that Rolls-Royce discriminated against 26 female applicants who applied for positions as machine operators, a violation of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in hiring by federal contractors. As part of the agreement, Rolls-Royce has also agreed to evaluate its process, policies and procedures for hiring for operator roles.
“Rolls-Royce remains firmly committed to fair and lawful hiring practices, has implemented programs over the past three years to increase the number of women across all levels of the organization and continues to focus on all areas of diversity and inclusion so that each of our employees can be at their best every day,” Campbell said in a statement.
A subsidiary of London-based international conglomerate Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, Rolls-Royce North America manufactures power and propulsion systems, including jet engines, for use in the aerospace, naval marine and energy sectors. It employs approximately 7,000 people in the United States and Canada. The company’s Reston-based headquarters houses corporate support functions, including finance, human resources, legal and government relations and provides management for all Rolls-Royce businesses and operations in the U.S. and Canada.