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.”
Developments in the OFCCP’s investigation of compensation disparities at United Space Alliance, LLC are worthy of consideration. During a 2009 desk audit, OFCCP conducted a standard threshold test of United Space Alliance’s compensation data. Although this audit uncovered no indicators of pay discrimination, OFCCP conducted additional tests of the data, commonly known as the “pattern analysis” and the “30 and 5 Refinement” tests. These tests revealed potential pay bias, and OFCCP requested more extensive compensation data to examine the question more closely. The case begins when United Space Alliance refused to comply with OFCCP’s request.
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