Just a few days ago, JacintoPort International settled with the OFCCP for $219,000 in back wages and job offers because they were unable to live up to a PRIOR settlement with the OFCCP.

In an ironic twist, in 2006 JacintoPort agreed to create semiannual reports showing their progress hiring women and MINORITIES. It was these reports that led to the current citation stating that African Americans and CAUCASIANS were being discriminated against. (Apparently Latinos were favored for longshoreman jobs at their Houston facility.)

There are several important things to point out here that all HR managers and executives need to stay on top of in their own organizations. JacintoPort, in 2006, did not have an applicant tracking system, for which they were cited, and which also possibly contributed to being found discriminatory to women and African Americans at that time. There is a possibility that had they had an applicant tracking system in place, they may have had the proper documentation to show there was no discrimination in their hiring practices.

Now they have proven themselves to be recidivists (repeat offenders), and therefore will continue to have those semiannual reports scrutinized and be targeted for audits rather than randomly selected. That their reports showed a continuing trend to discriminate against African Americans is proof that, unfortunately, many companies simply won’t change their hiring practices even in the face of being debarred and losing their government contracts. If JacintoPort is cited again for discrimination in the near-term, it is almost a certainty that the OFCCP may consider debarment.

And finally, JacintoPort serves as an important reminder that equal employment opportunity is for all, not just “protected” groups. Caucasians can (and are) often discriminated against, and the OFCCP is not afraid to go after contractors that appear to be rejecting white applicants in favor of other ethnicities.