GARDENA, CA – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement agreement with a federal contractor that manufactures aircraft components for several federal agencies and the U.S. military, after the department found systemic pay discrimination affecting female employees and disability discrimination at its Gardena, California, facility.

The agreement with Designed Metal Connections — operating as Permaswage — follows an investigation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. In its review, OFCCP found that since at least Jan. 1, 2018, the employer discriminated against 63 female employees by paying them significantly less than comparable male employees in the finishing job category. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

In addition, the agency found that Permaswage failed to respond to employees who requested reasonable accommodations based on disability, in violation of federal law.

The agreement requires Permaswage to pay $122,000 in back wages and interest to the affected female workers and review its overall compensation system. It must also review its reasonable accommodation policies and provide enhanced training to its managers to ensure future compliance. The employer will also conduct annual compensation analyses and correct any unjustified pay disparity. 

“Federal contractors must conduct annual pay equity audits and assess compensation systems to make sure compensation policies and practices do not lead to discrimination based on gender,” explained Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Jane Suhr in San Francisco. “In addition to paying back wages and interest, federal law requires Permaswage to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities to prevent future discrimination.”

Permaswage manufactures fluid fittings, components and installation tooling for the aerospace and defense industries. The company has multiple contracts with federal agencies and the U.S. military.

Learn more about OFCCP. If you think you may be a member of the affected class during the investigative period, please visit the Class Member Locator. The agency offers the Class Member Locator to identify applicants or workers who may be entitled to monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement as a result of OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.

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