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Labor Department threatens to yank firm's federal contracts for not cooperating in probe


The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday said it has filed suit for the second time against Cincinnati-based Convergys Customer Management Group Inc. for not cooperating with its investigations.

The Labor Department said in its statement that unless the Cincinnati-based customer-service management provider cooperates with its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ efforts to obtain information on its affirmative action plans it will seek to cancel the company’s current federal contracts and ban it from future federal contracting.

Meanwhile, Convergys said in a statement on Tuesday that it is committed to equal employment opportunity and its dispute is with how the Department of Labor is subjecting it to multiple audits without justification.

“Convergys knew when it became a federal contractor that it would be held to equal employment standards,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu in the statement. “Refusing to cooperate, in even the most basic ways — providing required paperwork to the department — flies in the face of the compact all contractors have with the American taxpayer. This agency is prepared to take all actions necessary to correct this, up to and including seeking to ban future government contracts for Convergys.”

In its latest lawsuit, the department is seeking information on company facilities in Jacksonville and Tamarac, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Valdosta, Georgia; and Chattanooga and Clarksville, Tennessee.

The first lawsuit filed internally by the OFCCP against Convergys led to an Oct. 23 ruling by Chief Administrative Judge Stephen R. Henley in which he held the OFCCP’s compliance evaluation scheduling process regarding seven other Convergys facilities complied with the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and ordered Convergys to comply with its compliance evaluation scheduling process.

Convergys has refused to comply with the judge’s recommended order to date, and has filed exceptions with the department’s administrative review board, the statement said.

In its statement, Convergys said it “is committed to equal employment opportunity and compliance with its obligations as a federal contractor.”

“As a federal contractor, we are required to maintain affirmative action plans and analysis of data to assure non-discrimination, which we do,” Convergys said in the statement.

“Our dispute with DOL is not about whether we comply with these requirements. Convergys has a record of past compliance and has passed previous audits. Rather, the dispute is about whether, under the Constitution and inclusive of the right to be free of unlawful search and seizure, the DOL is permitted to subject Convergys to multiple and extensive audits without justification.”

The OFCCP said last week it has filed suit against a portable meals manufacturer for discriminating against men.

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