Defense contractor Rosemount Aerospace will pay the government $712,000 to settle claims it discriminated against 26 Black job applicants in Burnsville in 2018 and 2019, according to a notice issued Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) conducted a statistical analysis to check if the company was complying with defense contractor rules that mandate diverse hiring.
The compliance review, completed last month, found the company's numbers came up short. It concluded that Rosemount Aerospace had discriminated against Black job candidates who applied for jobs assembling aircraft sensor equipment at the Burnsville plant.
Rosemount Aerospace officials on Wednesday were not immediately available for comment. Labor officials noted that the company fully cooperated with the investigation.
Under what is termed a "conciliation agreement," Rosemount Aerospace agreed to offer jobs to at least 26 Black applicants who had applied at the plant between January 2018 and June 2019. Affected applicants will be paid $712,500 in back wages and interest.
But first they must be identified.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance is launching a "Class Member Locator" link/website to search for potential applicants, said Department of Labor spokeswoman Rhonda Burke in an interview Wednesday.
Burke explained that using statistics, labor investigators were able to determine that Rosemount Aerospace violated federal discrimination law.
"Federal contractors know that equal employment opportunity is non-negotiable when they accept taxpayer funds to fulfill their contract," Carmen Navarro, director of the regional contract compliance office in Chicago, said in a statement.
Navarro added that her office will work with the company to resolve all of the issues addressed and "to put procedures in place to safeguard the process for future applicants."
Rosemount Aerospace, formerly UTC Aerospace Systems, does business as Collins Aerospace and is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies of Arlington, Va. It is a leading manufacturer of defense products with facilities around the country, including Burnsville.
The case against Rosemount Aerospace is one in a handful of cases to hit Minnesota defense contractors in recent years.
One of the most notable involved A'viands Food & Service Management, which agreed to pay $399,000 in back pay and interest to 98 female employees to resolve pay discrimination violations at its Roseville facility.
Another case involved Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis. Without admitting wrongdoing, it agreed to pay $128,200 in 2016 to settle charges it paid 20 Black employees less than white counterparts in various account service positions.
Also in 2016, Jennie-O Turkey agreed to pay $492,861 to 339 female job applicants in Willmar, Minn., who the government found were paid less than their "similarly situated" male counterparts.
Like Rosemount Aerospace, these cases were found due to statistical compliance reviews and not because individuals directly contacted the Labor Department, said Burke.