Bank of America To Pay $2.2 Million For Discrimination Against Black Job Seekers
A U.S. Department of Labor judge ordered Bank of America (BoA), located in Charlotte, N.C., to cough up almost $2.2 milllion in fines for discriminating against more than 1,100 African-American job seekers.
A formal complaint against BoA’s discriminatory tactics was filed back in 1997 after the Labor Department found “systemic hiring discrimination affecting black job seekers in the Charlotte location,” in 1993. It took nearly 20 years years for the courts to come to a conclusion on the case.
“Our investigators and attorneys prevailed despite decades of stalling tactics,” said labor solicitor M. Patricia Smith in a press statement.
Judge Linda Chapman has ordered the Charlotte-based bank to pay $2,181,593 back in restitution for 1,147 black job applicants. “The Department of Labor’s ruling awards $964,033 to 1,034 applicants who were rejected for jobs in 1993, and awards $1,217,560 to 113 applicants rejected between 2002 and 2005,” says USA Today.
Judge Chapman has also mandated that BoA extend suitable job positions to 10 former African-American applicants as the positions become available because of previous unfair and inconsistent criteria for choosing new hires. In the end, qualified candidates for jobs like tellers and entry-level clerical workers were turned away.
“We are currently reviewing this recommended decision and order,” said Christopher Feeney, a Bank of America spokesman. “At Bank of America, diversity and inclusion are part of our culture and core company values. We actively promote an environment where all employees have an opportunity to succeed.
This ruling comes nearly a month after Merrill Lynch’s $160 million settlement over hundreds of black brokers who claimed the bank was racially biased with their pay and promotions back in 2005. BoA acquired Merrill Lynch in 2009; the settlement was one of the largest payouts in employment discrimination cases.