ALJ Rules Against OFCCP in Hiring Discrimination Case Involving the Aggregation of Groups of Races and Ethnicities

By | August 14, 2013

On August 5, 2013, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the US Department of Labor (DOL) ruled against the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in a case regarding hiring discrimination against “non-Asians” at VF Jeanswear Limited.

The decision can be found at:

The OFCCP alleged in a Notice of Violations issued in 2009 that VF Jeanswear discriminated against 288 qualified non-Asian applicants.  The consultant that testified for the OFCCP claimed evidence of disparate impact against non-Asians in the applicant process. ALJ Kenneth A. Krantz ruled in favor of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, stating in his decision that, “The ‘non-Asian’ category upon which the Plaintiff has proceeded is neither a race nor an ethnic group, either by regulatory definition or as using in common parlance”.

ALJ Krantz points out that the regulations disallow discrimination based on race, sex, or ethnic group and there are five races or ethnic groups defined: Blacks, American Indians, Asians, Hispanic, and White.  While there may be cases brought with discrimination against an ethnic group not included in these five, it would be a single group, not an aggregate of groups such as non-Asian. This decision, if it stands, will impact cases made by the OFCCP, limiting their ability to cite discrimination against aggregate groups of races and ethnicities.

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