CHICAGO – An independent research center affiliated with the University of Chicago will pay $95,000 in back wages and interest to 107 Asian applicants to resolve alleged hiring discrimination found in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
The department’s agreement with National Opinion Research Center follows a routine compliance evaluation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that alleges the employer discriminated against Asian applicants for positions as coronavirus contact tracers, primarily in Maryland and Delaware, between May 2020 to August 2021. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
Under terms of a conciliation agreement, the center will review its hiring policies and procedures to ensure they are free from discrimination and will train all managers, supervisors, and other company officials who oversee hiring decisions.
“This conciliation agreement holds the National Opinion Research Center to the terms of their federal contract where they agreed to provide all applicants with equal employment opportunities, and closely examine and audit their employment processes to ensure no barriers to equal employment exist,” explained Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Midwest Regional Director Carmen Navarro.
The National Opinion Research Center’s largest contracts are held by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
OFCCP launched the Class Member Locator to identify applicants or workers who may be entitled to monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement as a result of OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations. If you think you may be a class member who applied for jobs at National Opinion Research Center during the investigative period, please use OFCCP’s Class Member Locator to learn more about this and other settlements.