Fastenal to pay $1.25M to settle Dept. of Labor discrimination charge

By Cate Chapman on October 8, 2015

Fastenal Co., North America’s leading distributor of fastening products and a federal government contractor, will pay $1.25 million in back wages and interest to 7,398 African American and 1,055 female job applicants to settle discrimination charges by the US Dept. of Labor.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleged that the company had specifically discriminated against 171 job applicants who sought general warehouse positions at two of its distribution facilities in Indianapolis and Atlanta, and destroyed or failed to provide employment records in an attempt to hinder the department’s investigation.

Under the conciliation agreements with OFCCP, Fastenal committed to hire 154 African American and 17 female class members and will pay $1,253,611 in back wages and interest to the 7,398 African American and 1,055 female job applicants in the entire affected class of prior applicants.

The company, based in Winona, Minnesota, did not admit liability. The violations occurred while Fastenal received more than $35 million in government contracts for its products.

Investigators from OFCCP’s Indianapolis and Atlanta offices found that the company engaged in screening and testing practices that discriminated against African Americans and women. As part of the settlement, Fastenal has agreed to discontinue use of its written test and to revise its hiring and recordkeeping practices to ensure they fully comply with the laws and regulations that apply to federal contractors.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require that contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit