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GE Lighting pays $537K to settle sex bias in hiring charges brought by OFCCP

GE Lighting LLC has agreed to pay $537,000 in back wages and interest to 102 women who the OFCCP asserts were rejected for entry-level attendant positions at the company’s Bucyrus, Ohio facility. GE Lighting will also extend job offers to at least five of the original class members as positions become available.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP investigators found that GE Lighting used the WorkKeys test as part of its selection process. However the company’s use of the test was not properly supported by a validation study that satisfies the requirements of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, the agency asserted in a September 8, 2014 statement. Based on its investigation, the OFCCP concluded that GE Lighting’s hiring process violated Executive Order (EO) 11246 by systematically discriminating against female applicants. GE Lighting has already ceased using the WorkKeys test, revised its selection process to ensure equal opportunity for all applicants and invited women to reapply under the revised hiring procedures, the OFCCP reported. The company has also extended one of the five job offers.

GE Lighting is a subsidiary of the Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co. In the past two years, GE Lighting held more than $1.8 billion in federal contracts to provide machines and equipment to the Air Force, Navy, Army and Defense Logistics Agency. As a federal contractor, GE Lighting is subject to EO 11246 and other laws enforced by the OFCCP.

“I am pleased that we were able to work out a fair and mutually agreeable resolution with GE Lighting,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “The time is always right to shine a light on any and all barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace, and I encourage women who were previously denied jobs at GE’s Bucyrus location to reconsider, secure in the knowledge that they will get a fair shake going forward.”