In September 2016, Chemonics entered into a conciliation agreement with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP). As a Federal contractor, Chemonics is subject to routine audits by the OFCCP. The settlement came as a result of a routine desk audit of Chemonics’ hiring practices in 2011. Chemonics takes this issue very seriously, and we believe it is important to provide a complete picture.
Chemonics’ global workforce comprises more than 4,600 employees from 70 countries. Hiring a diverse workforce is essential to Chemonics’ values and to being responsible corporate citizens.
It is important to note that this audit covered the 2011 calendar year. At that time, Chemonics was transitioning from a manual applicant tracking system to an electronic system and did not have the systems in place to collect and retain the necessary data to present to the OFCCP. In the five years since the audit period, however, we have put in place many processes to improve our hiring and selection activities, including a new recruitment system with improved OFCCP compliance tools and documentation of hiring decisions. We have also instituted clearly defined job qualifications for each requisition to ensure Chemonics is hiring the best qualified applicant for each position. Through these efforts, we have improved our ability to track applicant data, which in turn has allowed us to better gauge our efforts to recruit and employ a workforce which reflects the diversity of the community in which we live and the communities in which we work.
The audit alleged that Chemonics failed to apply hiring selection criteria uniformly for all applicants, resulting in nine fewer African-American hires into entry-level positions in regional business units based on the demographic make-up of the applicant pool in 2011. The allegations were not based on any individual complaints or investigations, rather they were based on a statistical analyses conducted by the OFCCP. These findings apply only to the entry-level positions hired in 2011 for Chemonics’ regional business units, and not to entry-level positions within support divisions at Chemonics. The audit did not reveal any statistical anomalies at any other level or in any other parts of the company.
Last November, the OFCCP invited Chemonics to participate in a conciliation process to resolve the alleged violations in lieu of protracted litigation. Following negotiations, Chemonics entered into a voluntary conciliation agreement with the OFCCP. Under the terms of the agreement, Chemonics will pay $482,243.85 in back pay, which will be distributed among the 124 African American applicants who expressed interest in Associate A, RBU positions in 2011. Chemonics also agreed to try to hire eight of the 2011 African American applicants who are interested and qualified for open Chemonics position(s).
Chemonics remains committed to continually improving internal systems, expanding training, and working with staff to ensure it is recruiting effectively and hiring the best qualified candidates.