Microsoft, Wells Fargo Satisfied Trump Labor Department on Hiring More Black Employees
By Amara Omeokwe
WASHINGTON -- The Labor Department under the Trump
administration closed inquiries into Microsoft Corp. and Wells
Fargo & Co. after the companies responded to questions about
their plans to hire more Black employees, according to an agency
The companies in September received letters from the Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a division of the Labor
Department, asking them to prove that their diversity hiring plans
complied with antidiscrimination laws.
"Microsoft and Wells Fargo responded to the inquiries with
in-depth descriptions, materials, and data. OFCCP was satisfied
with the response, and the inquiries are closed," a Labor
Department spokesman said.
The agency closed the inquiries into Wells Fargo and Microsoft
in October and December, respectively, according to the
The OFCCP has authority to launch enforcement actions against
federal contractors alleged to be in violation of
antidiscrimination laws. Earlier in 2020, in matters of hiring
separate from the September letters, Wells Fargo and Microsoft each
agreed to multimillion-dollar settlements with the office. Neither
company admitted wrongdoing in the agreements.
The companies were among several corporations that vowed to take
steps to diversify their workforces and support racial-justice
initiatives after the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man,
last May in Minneapolis.
In June, Microsoft said it would double the number of its Black
managers and senior leaders in the U.S. over the next five years,
while Wells Fargo also pledged to double its Black leadership.
The OFCCP is responsible for ensuring federal contractors, such
as Microsoft and Wells Fargo, comply with antidiscrimination laws.
It also helps federal contractors develop and maintain
The agency sent the letters to the companies during the tenure
of then-director Craig Leen, who was appointed in 2018 and left
office in January.
"Although contractors must establish affirmative-action programs
to set workforce utilization goals for minorities and women based
on availability, contractors must not engage in discriminatory
practices in meeting these goals," Mr. Leen wrote in the
correspondence to Wells Fargo dated Sept. 29, 2020.
Wells Fargo responded to the letter last year, said company
spokesman Peter Gilchrist.
"Wells Fargo is committed to and taking action to become a more
diverse and inclusive company. Numerous efforts are under way to
implement changes at all levels of the company, and we are
confident that they comply with U.S. employment laws," Mr.
Microsoft said it didn't have comment beyond a blog post issued
in October by company general counsel Dev Stahlkopf.
"We have every confidence that Microsoft's diversity initiative
complies fully with all U.S. employment laws," the post said.
"We have decades of experience and know full well how to
appropriately create opportunities for people without taking away
opportunities from others," it added.
Jenny Yang, a former commissioner of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration, became
OFCCP director at the start of the Biden administration, replacing
Write to Amara Omeokwe at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 06, 2021 08:14 ET (13:14 GMT)
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