M.C. Dean Inc., a major electrical contractor, has agreed to pay 381 job applicants $875,000 in back wages and interest to settle Dept. of Labor allegations that the company's hiring processes did not provide them with "equal employment opportunity" for apprenticeship and electrician positions, DOL said.

In announcing the agreement on Oct. 30, DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) said the payments will go to 272 African Americans, 98 Hispanics and 11 Asian Americans who had unsuccessfuly sought electrician and apprentice positions at the company in 2010.

Dulles, Va.-based M.C. Dean's  “conciliation agreement” with DOL states that it does not constitute an admission of any violation of federal law or executive order.

ENR received a redacted version of the agreement from DOL through a Freedom of Information Act request. Company President and CEO Bill Dean signed the document Sept. 27; Labor Dept. officials signed it on Sept. 30.

OFCCP alleged that in 2010 the company “did not afford equal employment opportunity to a sufficient number" of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American applicants "on the basis of their race and/or national origin” in hiring for an apprenticeship program and "Electrician I" positions. The agency also contended that M.C. Dean used “employment tests and other selection devices that had not been validated” under federal guidelines.

Besides the payments to the individuals, M.C. Dean agreed to make job offers to them as positions open.

The company has already stopped using the employment tests and selection devices and has developed and instituted a new system for tracking applicants for all trades’ positions including apprenticeships, according to the agreement.

M.C. Dean also has hired a company to conduct mandatory training for human-resource personnel and for managers and supervisors in its engineering and construction group who are involved in hiring for certain electrician and apprentice programs.