Posted on September 24, 2013

Bank of America Ordered to Pay $2.2 Million to Black Charlotte Job Seekers

Andrew Dunn, Charlotte Observer, September 23, 2013

Bank of America has been ordered to pay $2.2 million to more than 1,000 black job applicants turned down for positions in Charlotte after a federal judge ruled that the bank racially discriminated against them, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.

The Charlotte bank had been accused of rejecting qualified black candidates for teller jobs and entry-level clerical and administrative positions in 1993 and again between 2002 and 2005. An administrative law judge ruled Bank of America used “unfair and inconsistent selection criteria” in choosing white applicants over black job-seekers.

Under the ruling, 1,034 applicants rejected by the bank in 1993 will be awarded $964,033 – an average of $932 per person. An additional 113 people denied a job between 2002 and 2005 will split about $1.2 million – or $10,775 on average.

The bank must also offer jobs to 10 employees originally turned down, the Labor Department said. {snip}


It’s not the first time a Charlotte bank has faced discrimination allegations from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. In 2004, Wachovia agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle allegations that it engaged in pay discrimination against 2,021 current and former female employees.


The case against Bank of America reaches back to 1993, when it was known as NationsBank. The bank’s Charlotte office was selected for a compliance review under an executive order that requires federal contractors not to discriminate.

The Labor Department later told NationsBank it had found evidence that it had discriminated against black applicants for entry-level jobs, according to department documents.

Soon after, NationsBank challenged the ruling on Fourth Amendment grounds, saying it constituted an illegal search.

In 2010, Administrative Law Judge Linda Chapman recommended a ruling that Bank of America had, in fact, discriminated against the job applicants based on statistical evidence.

Last week, the same judge ordered the $2.2 million payment. In her ruling, the judge said there was no evidence the bank had taken “any action in good faith to prevent illegal behavior.” But she also wrote there was no evidence that discrimination was ongoing, or any “recognizable danger of ongoing violation.”


Bank of America has settled two discrimination-related cases in just the past month.

In August, the bank agreed to pay $160 million to black financial advisers at Merrill Lynch who said racial discrimination led them to be kept off lucrative assignments and paid less than white counterparts. {snip}

Earlier this month, the bank agreed to pay $39 million to women who worked at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch brokerages who claimed they were not given an equal chance to succeed.