Thursday, October 19, 2017

US sues Oracle over workplace discrimination, but Trump could scrap complaint in less than 24h

Oracle has fought back saying the “complaint is politically motivated” and based on false allegations.

Cloud provider Oracle, which less than two days ago was making headlines around the world with the announcement of three new regions, is today facing a lawsuit by the US Labor Department just hours before the country’s administration is set to move hands from president Barack Obama to Donald Trump.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed the suit with the Labour Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges against Oracle America alleging that the provider had engaged in pay discrimination.

In the complaint, the department says: “This action against Defendant Oracle America is to redress violations stemming from Oracle’s systemic compensation discrimination against woman and Asians and African Americans in three lines of business (including 80 jobs titles) at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.”

The OFCCP said it has found disparities in pay “even after controlling for job title, full-time statues, exempt status, global career level, job specialty, estimated prior work experience, and company tenure”.

The complaint also seeks to redress what is calls a “pattern” in which Oracle favours Asian applicants over Asian Indians, Hispanic and African American applicants.

If the lawsuit comes to the worst, Oracle could be in line for a multi-million Dollar penalty as it has several contracts with the US government.

The Department of Labor said: “Oracle has received hundreds of millions in federal government contracts.

“As a federal contractor, Oracle America is prohibited from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or national origin and is required to take affirmative action to ensure that equal employment opportunity is provided to applicants and employees in all aspects of employment.”

“If Oracle fails to provide relief as ordered in the lawsuit, OFCCP requests that all its government contracts be cancelled and that it be debarred from entering into future federal contracts.”

Reacting to the complaint, Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said the move by the Department of Labor is politically motivated, “based on false allegations, and wholly without merit”.

She then continued: “Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

“Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.”

In addition to Oracle America, also JP Morgan has been faced with a complaint for allegedly discriminating female employees regarding salaries.

However, both complaints, and even previous complaints against Qualcomm and AT&T, could end up being put down by the new Trump team which is to take office this Friday, January 19.

The Department of Labor’s secretary Tom Perez, which under Obama’s administration has promised to look into workplace equality, is to hand-over the department to Andy Puzder, CEO of a fast-food chain with little interest in the topic.