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Fastenal pays $1.25M for pre-employment discrimination claims

Fastenal, a federal contractor with locations in Florida and across the United States, was accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of disqualifying candidates through Fastenal's hiring process. The company distributes factory and construction supplies as well as nuts and bolts. In 2011 through 2012, Fastenal was apparently operating under a federal contract to provide $35 million of products and services. That is when the alleged employment discrimination occurred.

According to the DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Fastenal allegedly used pre-employment testing and screening for two of its out-of-state warehouses. These tests are said to have unjustly disqualified women and minorities from the job opportunities. The OFCCP found that the company discriminated against 17 women and 154 black people.

During the investigation, Fastenal reportedly not provide all of the required employment documentation. The company was accused of impeding the government investigation by destroying some of the employment records from the facilities in question. Despite the complications, enough information was uncovered to satisfy investigators that the tests did discriminate against both protected groups.

Although Fastenal has agreed to pay a settlement of $1.25 million in back pay plus interest to 1,066 female and 7,398 black job candidates, it did not formally admit that it has done anything wrong. Under the terms of the settlement, 154 black people and 17 women will be offered jobs. The company will also discontinue its targeted pre-employment screening practices. Florida individuals in similar situations may choose to turn to the law if they feel that they have been denied a job opportunity due to unlawful employment discrimination.

Source: startribune.com, "Fastenal settles federal hiring discrimination case", Dee Depass, Oct. 8, 2015

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