Archive for the ‘Sex Bias’ Category

Recently, Monsanto entered into a settlement agreement with the OFCCP whereby it agreed to create a formal, paid training program for some female applicants rejected for entry-level operator-mechanic-engineer (“O-M-E”) positions at Monsanto’s site in Soda Springs, Idaho and to expand its good faith efforts to recruit qualified female applicants for the O-M-E positions.

The settlement came as a result of a 2006 compliance review during which the OFCCP found that between 2003 and 2005, all 26 individuals hired at Monsanto’s Idaho site were male.  The OFCCP alleged that Monsanto’s hiring process resulted in a statistically significant disparity that adversely affected female applicants citing “inconsistencies in the selection process along with anecdotal evidence.”  The OFCCP also claimed that the availability analysis for the O-M-E job group in Monsanto’s affirmative action plan “was not representative of actual job duties.” Although Monsanto denied the OFCCP’s allegations, it chose to settle with the OFCCP to avoid timely and expensive litigation.

As part of the settlement agreement, Monsanto has agreed to expand its good faith efforts to increase the number of successful female applicants by doing the following:

  • Sponsoring welding scholarships and internships for women at Idaho State University;
  • Conducting “industrial hiring preparation” workshops;
  • Expanding advertising for O-M-E positions;
  • Increasing outreach efforts at career fairs and conferences for women;
  • Considering the development of scholarships and internship programs at other vocational and educational institutions;
  • Requesting outreach ideas and participation from current female O-M-Es;
  • Including “family-friendly and female-friendly” benefits in its job posting;  and
  • Identifying “women centered” community activities and organizations for potential financial sponsorship

We encourage other employers to be proactive in adopting such practices as part of their good faith efforts to increase the number of successful female (or minority) applicants for job positions, particularly if they notice that a certain job position is being filled predominately by males (or whites).  If your company needs assistance in this regards, or with any aspect of its affirmative action plan, the attorneys at Harmon & Davies are here to assist you.

This article is authored by attorney Shannon O. Young and is intended for educational purposes and to give you general information and a general understanding of the law only, not to provide specific legal advice. Any particular questions should be directed to your legal counsel or, if you do not have one, please feel free to contact us.

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