The Department of Labor (DoL) continued and continues to pursue last minute, stealth lawsuits brought by the Obama Administration against businesses alleged to be engaged in employment discrimination. The battery of lawsuits was brought by the Obama Administration after President Trump was elected but before Trump was sworn into office. Continuing to pursue Obama’s lawsuits is at odds with the Trump Administration’s pledge to promote economic growth and drain the swamp of government sanctioned liberal social engineering.
The Trump Administration Labor Department’s Office Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the office responsible for ensuring government contractors are in compliance with federal regulations, is continuing to pursue Obama’s lawsuits against businesses for discriminatory wage practices without actual evidence of discrimination but using statistical data to identify purported “offenders.” Companies in the crosshairs of the OFCCP were not subject to specific complaints by their labor force but rather the program office used generalized personnel data to extrapolate violations of federal regulation were taking place.
Writes Drew Johnson at Inside Sources, “Under former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the bureaucracy turned from its mission and focused, instead, on concocting bogus claims of discrimination based on statistical analysis, even when no wrongdoing was ever reported.”
The OFCCP has tremendous power because it can disqualify a contractor from government contracting eligibility and can threaten costly investigations, tedious document requests and damage corporate reputations with a charge of discrimination. Targeted businesses would be reluctant to fight back against the government’s efforts because doing so runs the risk of even more punishment and a black mark against a contractor bidding for government contracts who dares to threaten the power of the administrative state. The OFCCP has a hostile and antagonistic attitude toward the contracting community instead of a cooperative one. Is this how the government should operate, in a game of gotcha with terrified business partners?
In the absurd case of Palantir, who settled for $1.7 million, “The DoL suit, which sought lost wages, said that from a pool of more than 1160 qualified software engineer applicants, approximately 85 percent were Asian, but the company hired 14 non-Asian employees and only 11 Asian people. And even though a majority of qualified intern applicants were Asian, Palantir hired four times as many non-Asians as Asians, the suit said.”
The progressive lawyers next accused Google of discriminating against women. CNet reported on April 8, 2017, “US Department of Labor said search powerhouse Google systematically pays its female employees less than it pays men — a charge the company strongly denied.” The feds went into court to demand more data from Google to help prove the allegation of discrimination. In December of 2017, a class action lawsuit against Google was tossed out of court that relied on the same statistical data used by the Department of Labor to attack Google. Google told CNNMoney its own analysis of its employees’ compensation showed it had no gender pay gap, citing it pays women 99.7 cents to each dollar a man receives. The Department of Labor’s means to prove discrimination, if allowed to stand, would open the door for lawyers to harass big business in an effort to use statistics to extort settlements.
Former DoL Secretary, the disgraced Alex Acosta, continued Obama’s suit against Oracle for $400 million. Explained Oracle Executive Vice President and General Counsel Dorian Daley “This meritless lawsuit is based on false allegations and a seriously flawed process within the OFCCP that relies on cherry picked statistics rather than reality.” Late last year, Oracle fought back and filed its own suit against DoL for its “regulatory power grab.”
Now that former DoL Secretary Alex Acosta has been replaced with Eugene Scalia, will the agency right the wrong course of the swampy Obama Administration and stop the social engineering of American corporations?