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Bank of America fined in discrimination case

California readers may be interested to know that the U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Bank of America to pay approximately $2.2 million to 1,100 black applicants in restitution for hiring discrimination. The ruling awards $964,033 to 1,034 job applicants who were rejected for jobs in 1992 based on race discrimination. There is an additional award of $1,217,560 for 113 job seekers who were rejected based on race between 2002 and 2005.

In 1993 a division of the Department of Labor had begun reviewing Bank of America files during a routine compliance review. The evidence showed systemic discrimination in hiring practices regarding black job applicants at the bank's Charlotte offices. Efforts were made to rectify the situation, but when those failed, an administrative complaint was filed stating that the bank was in violation of an executive order that prohibited companies with federal contracts from discriminating on the basis of race.

The judge in the current case made a determination that the company had been unfair and inconsistent in its hiring practices which resulted in qualified black applicants being rejected from entry-level clerical and teller jobs. Further, the ruling also requires the bank to make job offers with an appropriate level of seniority to 10 people involved in the class action suit as positions become available.

If an individual feels he or she has been denied a job or promotion based on race or another prohibited form of discrimination, it may be wise to allow an attorney to review the case. An attorney with experience in employment law and employee rights may be able to advise the client as to the appropriate forms of redress that may be available.

Source: USA Today, "BofA fined $2.2M in racial discrimination case", Derry Londo, September 23, 2013

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