After a routine compliance evaluation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Ben E. Keith Company (BEK) – operating as Fort Worth/Waco Beer & Fleet Main and Ben E. Keith Dallas Fort Worth Foods (BEK Foods) – has agreed to pay $350,000 in back pay and interest to resolve alleged hiring discrimination at its two Fort Worth, Texas, facilities.
OFCCP alleged that beginning in 2012, BEK violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, or national origin. Specifically, the company favored white and male applicants for store stocker part-time positions and favored Hispanic applicants for driver, route sales and warehouse trainee positions.
BEK has agreed to pay the back wages and interest, as well as extend job opportunities to 66 affected class members. To ensure future compliance, the company will also take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including record-keeping and internal auditing procedures, meet legal requirements.
"OFCCP is committed to resolving federal contractors' discrimination issues," said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Melissa Speer. "The outcome of this matter ensures that measures are in place to comply with federal hiring and employment law."
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their compensation or the compensation of others subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/ .