Email signup

Reston contractor settles allegations of racial discrimination in hiring, says labor department

Two people shaking hands (via Cytonn Photography on Unsplash)

An IT contractor headquartered in Reston’s South Lakes area has agreed to pay over $435,000 to settle a federal investigation that found racial discrimination in its hiring practices.

Intelligent Waves LLC allegedly engaged in “systemic hiring discrimination” against 14 Black applicants who sought work in Arizona and Nevada as test instrumentation technicians, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced Friday (April 21).

The allegations were raised by a “routine” compliance investigation that took place between Nov. 5, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2021, according to a news release.

Investigators found violations of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination by federal contractors, by personnel at the company’s Reston headquarters (1801 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 440) who were responsible for filling the technician positions.

“OFCCP identified a statistically significant disparity (equivalent to a shortfall of five (5)), not otherwise explained, in the hiring of Black Test Instrumentation Technician applicants on the basis of their race,” the office says in the compliance agreement.

The OFCCP also found that Intelligent Waves failed to preserve accurate employment records and implement an audit system to monitor the effectiveness of its affirmative action program during the investigation period, according to the agreement.

“Our settlement with Intelligent Waves reflects our commitment to preventing hiring discrimination and holding federal contractors accountable when they fail to ensure equal employment opportunity,” Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Sam Maiden said.

Launched in 2006, Intelligent Waves provides cybersecurity, data science, network & systems engineering and software development services. Its clients include the Air Force, NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration, according to the labor department.

Per the compliance agreement, the company “neither admits nor denies” any violations of the federal government’s nondiscrimination rules.

According to Intelligent Waves, the discrimination allegations stem from “a single position and an incident that transpired almost three years ago, resulting from a record-keeping error when Intelligent Waves was a small business.”

The company says it hasn’t employed the people involved since 2022 and started “implementing measures” to ensure compliance with federal rules as soon as it became aware of the error.

“Intelligent Waves has a long history of providing an equitable and inclusive workplace for all employees, exceeding industry averages for diversity and veteran employment, and has maintained a strong anti-discrimination policy since its founding,” Intelligent Waves said in a statement, noting that it was listed among the D.C. area’s top corporate diversity employers last year by the Washington Business Journal.

However, as part of the settlement, Intelligent Waves has agreed to not only provide $435,368 in back pay and interest to the 14 affected individuals, but also give them priority for a job offer if there are future test instrumentation technician vacancies.

The contractor is also required to evaluate its hiring policies and procedures for the position and train employees involved in hiring on any changes.

All of the settlement funds must be distributed by Feb. 20, 2024, and the company must give the OFCCP a progress report on its hiring practices by April 1, 2024, per a timeline in the agreement. The office has a Class Member Locator with information for anyone who thinks they’re eligible for relief.

Photo via Cytonn Photography/Unsplash

Recent Stories

This past week saw 218 homes sold in Fairfax County. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $180,000 while the most expensive…

Today (Thursday) marks a decade of community service, youth leadership, political activism and civic engagement in Virginia by the Hamkae Center. Over the last 10 years, the local nonprofit has…

The Faith Baptist Church that has occupied 301 Center Street South in Vienna for about seven decades will officially be torn down. Faced with increasing maintenance costs, the Vienna Town…

Arrowbrook Centre, an anchoring mixed-use neighborhood near the Innovation Center Metro station, is moving one step forward to completion. Several pieces of the 54-acre development, which is bounded by the…

Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.

To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!

We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!

Submit your own Community Post here.

Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!

Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art

Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun

Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!

Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!

• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all

Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker

Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road


Subscribe to our mailing list