Three and a half years into President Trump’s presidency, not all lawsuits the Obama administration filed at the last minute alleging discrimination by companies have been thrown out. After Trump won the presidency, Obama’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs within the Department of Labor filed lawsuits against Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco Systems and Palantir, alleging discrimination for supposedly hiring the wrong percentages of women and minorities and paying them unequally. If the discrimination was so serious, why did the Obama administraton wait to file the lawsuits until the last few days of its lameduck tenure?
There was no evidence of discrimination. No one came forward to complain. The lawsuits were solely based on statistics. They didn’t take into account legitimate reasons for the discrepancies. Fewer minorities and women may have applied for jobs. They may not have had as much experience or education. By forcing people artificially into boxes, opportunities that accommodate people’s different needs are eliminated. For example, a woman may want a job with fewer hours or flexible hours due to raising children. But these rigid categories eliminate the opportunity for her.
Who was behind the DOL lawsuits? Attorney Janet Herold. Herold is the former Associate General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union. In other words, she has been an activist union lawyer. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) observed what a problem this had become under the Obama administration. “The Obama Administration has used the Department of Labor and the NLRB to upend decades of legal precedent by issuing aggressive decisions and regulations,” he wrote in a 2016 blog post. “Sadly, these actions have put the interests of big labor bosses ahead of what is best for hardworking Americans.”
The DOL accused Google of discriminating against women by paying them less than men. However, a judge ruled that the DOL’s request for data from Google was "unreasonable in that it is over-broad, intrusive on employee privacy, unduly burdensome, and insufficiently focused on obtaining the relevant information." Google said its own analysis of employee compensation found that the company pays women 99.7 cents to each dollar a man receives, no gender gap. Realizing it was groundless, the DOL finally dropped the lawsuit last year.
Palantir was accused of hiring fewer Asian employees proportionate to how many applied. The company admitted no fault, but was forced to pay $1.7 million anyway in order to settle and end the suit. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forced to pay for these groundless lawsuits against the companies.
The DOL alleged that Oracle paid white males more than women, blacks and Asians. Incredibly, at the same time, it alleged that Oracle favored Asians in recruiting and hiring practices. So which one is it? Does Oracle prefer Asians over others, or does it discriminate against Asians? It doesn’t make any sense. And the DOL never bothered comparing the skills and education of similarly situated employees as required by law. Oracle has countersued, calling the lawsuit an unconstitutional power grab, because the enforcement wasn’t authorized by the president or Congress.
Tellingly, the far left group Democracy Forward has intervened in the Oracle lawsuit. Democracy Forward was founded for the purpose of bullying the Trump administration with lawsuits in order to force it to continue Obama’s progressive policies.
If the lawsuit against Oracle finds a complicit judge to rule against the company, it will set a dangerous precedent. These lawsuits were filed against companies that have contracts with the federal government. But since antidiscrimination laws apply to all businesses (with some exceptions for small businesses), they can be broadened to apply to them as well. Affirmative action on steroids.
Conservatives complain about the bias of big tech companies. But a lot of that bias is due to the left threatening them into complying with their radical agenda. Here the Trump administration has a chance to stop this latest shakedown.
Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia can withdraw the Oracle lawsuit. The son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it is unlikely he will allow the bogus lawsuit to continue. When he was in private practice, he defended Boeing against the Obama National Labor Relations Board, which tried to block planes from being made in South Carolina. The agency dropped the case.
So far, Herold is doing everything she can to stop Scalia from slowing down her witch hunt. She has filed a report accusing him of abuse of authority and gross mismanagement because he dared attempt to settle the Oracle case. She is accusing him of retaliating against her and discriminating against her because she’s a holdover from the Obama administration.
The left thinks it can get away with these lawsuits because currently they have the country in hysteria over alleged racism. No one wants to look like they are condoning racism. And by continuing false accusations of racism and sexism, the left convinces women and minorities to vote Democrat, believing the Democrats are saving them from discrimination. Meanwhile all they’re doing is preventing women and minorities from getting jobs, because only the ones with the highest levels of experience, education and flexibility are going to be considered under this rigorous treatment.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in the DOL is supposed to promote affirmative action with federal contractors, so some of that is not going away. But the most ridiculous aspects can be stopped. The deep state holdovers in the DOL need to be cleaned out.