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Case Study: FedEx Forced to Pay $3 Million in Discrimination Case

Case Study: FedEx Forced to Pay $3 Million in Discrimination Case

In 2012, shipping and delivery giant FedEx was brought to task by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). FedEx, the DOL’s employment rights attorneys alleged, was guilty of discriminatory hiring, a fact which the department believed strongly enough that it brought charges against the shipping giant’s ground delivery unit. According to The New York Times, the company settled with the Department of Labor in March 2012, agreeing to pay out $3 million in damages as a result of rejecting over 21,000 job applicants in a discriminatory manner.

Breaking the Case Down
According to a report from the Department of Labor, the government body launched a full-scale investigation of FedEx after reports of discriminatory hiring practices began to mount against the company. Following a probe, the DOL found that FedEx’s hiring practices favored men over women, and Caucasians over any other ethnic group. While a statistical majority in either of these groups is not unusual nor a guarantee that a company is in fact involved in illegal and unethical hiring practices, employment attorneys for the Department of Labor found that hiring practices were so skewed as to be “statistically relevant.” In other words, the hiring numbers showed that FedEx was knowingly engaged in hiring practices that any employment lawyer would immediately flag as illegal.

Patricia A. Shiu, director of the DOL’s contract compliance office went on record to The New York Times following FedEx’s agreeing to pay $3 million and reform its hiring standards. In her words, the company had demonstrated a pattern over seven years of rejecting the majority of female and non-white employees. In short, the company had a long history of discrimination.

Title VII Employee Laws Violations
For the employment attorneys working for the rights of employees with the Department of Labor, the case against FedEx was simple enough. The company was engaged in practices that blatantly violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) writes, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination due to “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Quite clearly, the employment attorneys with the DOL had a strong enough case for color, race, and sexual discrimination to put FedEx in a position where it paid millions.

What do you think about the Department of Labor’s case against FedEx? Did the company get what it deserved? Let us know in the comments below.