Wells Fargo’s latest black eye? Hiring discrimination. The Department of Labor announced Thursday that the bank had agreed to settle thousands of allegations of gender-based and racial discrimination in hiring.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) investigated the allegations and determined that in 2014, Wells Fargo’s Phone Bank Premier, Home Equity & Online Customer Service unit discriminated against 2,066 female applicants for positions as online customer service representatives. The investigation also determined that the banking giant had discriminated against 282 African American job applicants.
According to the OFCCP, the alleged discrimination violated a ban on race and sex discrimination by federal contractors. Wells Fargo provides services to multiple federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Wells Fargo did not admit liability, but agreed to pay $603,612 in back wages, interest and benefits to the affected applicants. The bank will also make 66 job offers to original applicants as positions become available, the Labor Department said.
“Companies that accept federal contracts must monitor their hiring processes to ensure applicants are not rejected based on unlawful practices,” said Michael Hodge, OFCCP regional director.