DOJ Sues Entergy for Not Reporting Affirmative-Action Compliance

Maria Armental and Lauren Pollock, Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2014

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing energy company Entergy Corp. for failing to submit required proof of its affirmative-action programs.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans Thursday, alleges Entergy has refused repeated requests from the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

“This issue has been litigated and re-litigated many times, and the courts have been clear: companies that profit from federal contracts must comply with our requests for proof that they are meeting their obligations,” OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu said in a statement.

Entergy, based in New Orleans, owns utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and sells power on the wholesale market. It also owns the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, which it plans to close and decommission this year.

According to the complaint, on May 2, 2012, the Labor Department’s OFCCP sent Entergy a courtesy letter listing 12 of the company’s facilities in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and New York that could be selected for a compliance review. Eleven of those locations were ultimately selected for the audit. Entergy refused to submit the required affirmative-action programs and other documents for those locations saying the requests “violate the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures” in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Earlier Thursday, the company said it expected to post higher earnings in the second quarter, helped by strength at its wholesale commodities and generation businesses, though the estimate fell below current average analyst views.

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