Palantir Technologies has agreed to settle in a lawsuit brought against it by the Labor Department over allegations that it practiced discrimination in its hiring practices by refusing to employ Asian applicants. The settlement figure will amount to over $1.6 million and will include back pay. As per an agreement that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced, the data analytics startup must also offer employment to 8 applicants of Asian origin in various kinds of engineering roles.
The lawsuit against Palantir Technologies was filed in September when the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs claimed that the discrimination in hiring against Asians started in early 2010. According to the federal agency, applicants of Asian origin would be routinely eliminated during the resume screening stage as well as in the telephone interview stage. This was despite the fact that their qualifications were on the same level as other applicants.
By settling, Palantir Technologies has avoided the risk of penalties had the allegations been proved true in a court of law. The data analytics firm would also have been prevented from doing business with government agencies. Since 2010, revenues generated from government contracts by Palantir have totaled over $340 million.
No admission of guilt
With the lawsuit now out of the way the Palo Alto, California-based firm can continue being a service provider to the government. However, the data analytics firm was still defiant that it had been wrongly accused.
“We settled this matter, without any admission of liability, in order to focus on our work. We continue to stand by our employment record and are glad to have resolved this case,” a spokesperson for Palantir said following the approval of the settlement by a judge.
Affirmative action auditing system
Before the settlement was agreed upon, negotiations between the Labor Department’s officials and Palantir took place for a period of about seven months. Besides the monetary settlement and the hiring directive, Palantir will also be required to come up with an auditing system that will every now and then help in determining whether its affirmative action program is effective. Should Palantir violate the agreement terms, the Labor Department could reopen the matter.
Palantir is not the only tech company that has faced a discrimination lawsuit in the recent past. Splunk, a tech firm based in Seattle, Washington, reached a settlement over the same issue earlier in the year. Similar charges are also being pursued by the Labor Department against the enterprise software giant, Oracle.