Chief Judge Royce Lamberth’s 46-page decision in United Space Alliance, LLC v. Solis, No. 11-746 (D.D.C. Nov. 14, 2011), introduces new uncertainties for contractors facing OFCCP investigations. The case arose from a 2009 OFCCP desk audit of United Space Alliance’s facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Applying DOL’s established practices to the initial compensation data provided by United Space Alliance revealed no discriminatory pattern. But DOL sought additional information because “it appeared that women were earning less more frequently than men.”  United Space Alliance refused, calling the request “unjustified.”

Title VII does not just protect U.S. citizens from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation while on U.S. soil; it also protects U.S. citizens overseas when working for U.S. companies. A recent complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia Alexandria division highlights this. On August 17, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued DynCorp International for hostile environment and retaliation. According to the Complaint [pdf], DynCorp, a military contractor and aircraft maintenance company, employed James Friso overseas. In late 2006, DynCorp transferred Friso to work at its jobsite in Taji, Iraq, where, allegedly, Friso experienced sexually charged harassment because he did not fit the male gender stereotype. The Complaint alleges that Friso was subjected to frequent derogatory comments by a co-worker about him and homosexuality. The Complaint alleges that Friso complained multiple times, but that the company failed to respond. Ultimately, Friso was transferred to Germany, which resulted in a loss of pay. The Complaint argues that this transfer was retaliatory in nature.