Labor, KPMG Resolve Discrimination Claim Filed by Asian Job Applicants

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs(OFCCP) and Big 4 firm KPMG have entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination, the federal government announced.

The agreement with KPMG follows an OFCCP investigation that found from Oct. 1, 2011, to March 31, 2013, the auditing firm discriminated against 60 Asian applicants for associate audit positions at its office in Short Hills, N.J.

The agency determined that KPMG’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color or national origin.

KPMG does not acknowledge any liability. It agreed to pay $420,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to the 60 Asian applicants for associate audit positions. The company will also provide associate audit job opportunities to six affected applicants as positions become available. In addition, KPMG will take steps to ensure its personnel practices, including record-keeping and internal auditing procedures, meet legal requirements.

“Together, the department and KPMG will ensure that this issue is resolved, and that the company has the measures in place to comply with federal hiring and employment law,” said OFCCP Acting Director Thomas Dowd.

The company has contracts valued at more than $14 million with federal agencies including the U.S. departments of Energy, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as NASA and the IRS.