The U.S. Department of Labor said July 30 that Fastenal has reached an agreement to resolve allegations of systemic gender-based hiring discrimination that impacted 483 female job applicants between Dec. 7, 2016 and July 31, 2018, at its High Point, NC — home to the company's east coast master distribution center.
The DoL said a routine department investigation revealed that Winona, MN-based Fastenal violated Executive Order 11246 in its hiring and laborer and helper positions. The order requires affirmative action and prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
Fastenal provides contract services to the Department of the Air Force.
Under the agreement, Fastenal will pay $168,000 in back wages and interest to the affected applicants and make 24 job offers as positions become available. The distributor has also agreed to "ensure that its selection process, personnel practices and hiring policies are free from discrimination, and its recordkeeping methods meet legal requirements," per the DoL.
“Federal contractors must ensure that their employment practices do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin,” said Aida Collins, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Southeast Regional Director Aida Collins in Atlanta. “By reaching this agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, Fastenal Co. has demonstrated it is committed to resolving the issues raised and ensuring that measures are in place to provide equal employment opportunities.”
In October 2015, Fastenal agreed to pay $1.25 million in back wages and interest to 7,398 African American and 1,055 female applicants who were named in a class-action complaint against the company, alleging hiring discrimination for warehouse positions at two of its distribution centers between 2011-2012. That agreement also included Fastenal committing to hire 154 African-American applicants and 17 female applicants who were declined jobs.