Not without good reason have multiple Republican presidents and presidential candidates contemplated abolishing the U.S. Department of Labor. It is closely associated with unions, which are in turn closely associated with corruption and the Democratic Party machine. Recently, the Labor Department has also been captured by deep state bureaucrats intent on using their authority to push a radical agenda based on "social justice" and identity politics.
Oracle, one of the greatest American tech companies, is the latest victim of the Department of Labor's depredations. More specifically, a lawless arm of the department, called the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), has pursued a vendetta against Oracle.
It all began in the waning days of the Obama administration, when OFCCP bureaucrats decided to file a complaint against Oracle based on statistics that they claimed indicated patterns of discrimination in hiring and compensation. Some fuzzy math allowed these deep state geniuses to "prove" that Oracle discriminated both against and in favor of its Asian employees, depending on the circumstances. Quite a feat!
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The real world explanation: OFCCP metrics can be used to find alleged discrimination in almost any U.S. company, because, unless that company hires and compensates employees according to a rigid quota system and a racial and gender hierarchy engineered by federal social justice warriors, it will almost certainly be "proven" to be a hotbed of – you guessed it – RACISM (and sexism)!
There are several problems here. First, racial and gender discrimination are crimes – serious crimes – and precisely for that reason anyone, or any company, accused of them is entitled to a presumption of innocence. Statistical formulae that purport to reveal an underlying racist culture, however, are actually based on a presumption of guilt. No company can overcome this presumption except by kowtowing to the quota-based identitarian ideology of the OFCCP.
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Second, the ongoing legal wrangling between Oracle and the OFCCP stems entirely from a last-minute decision by Labor Department bureaucrats to go gunning for Oracle while Obama was still (barely) president and before Trump appointees could restore some sanity to the process. The OFCCP's actions since the initial filing in 2017, moreover, have been based on its vindictiveness toward Oracle, which had the temerity to defend its honor and proclaim its innocence.
Last, the OFCCP itself stands on legal-constitutional quicksand. As Oracle's lawyers have argued in federal court, the OFCCP claims the broad authority to act, in effect, as judge, jury and executioner in cases involving alleged discrimination among federal contractors. Its procedures thus sideline the legislative and judicial branches of government, ignore the law as it is written, and give deep state empire-builders the ability to dictate hiring and compensation policies to the private sector. The OFCCP then predictably uses these sweeping powers to coerce U.S. corporations into kneeling before the shibboleth of identity politics. In practical terms, this means they are forced to utilize not common sense, but discredited and arguably illegal and unconstitutional formulae in building their workforces.
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The Trump administration is gradually chipping away at the formidable legacy of bureaucratic overreach established during the Obama years, and it is rededicating federal agencies like the EEOC and the OFCCP to the principle of equal opportunity, rather than equality of results. As the ongoing feud between Oracle and the OFCCP demonstrates, however, Trump appointees have a lot more work to do before the autocratic agents of the deep state are brought to heel.
The American people should urge the OFCCP to make peace with Oracle and to adhere in the future to a much higher standard of proof in discrimination complaints and lawsuits. Justice demands it, and so does the smooth functioning of our thriving economy, which can only take so much manhandling from D.C. swamp monsters before it grinds to a halt.
President Trump, Congress and federal judges everywhere: Let's put the enforcement of federal discrimination laws in responsible hands. Let's end the OFCCP's reign of error once and for all.