By Zach Armstrong
PRINCE GEORGE, Va. — Rolls-Royce North America has agreed to pay 26 women over allegations of gender-based hiring discrimination at a Prince George County plant while the company denies the charges.
The company agreed to pay $135,000 in back wages and interest to women, four of whom were also given job opportunities by Rolls-Royce, who applied for operator positions at the plant and then weren’t hired.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance, Rolls-Royce discriminated against the women throughout 2017, violating a federal rule against sexist discrimination by federal contractos in their hiring process.
The company holds contracts with the Department of the Navy, Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of the Air Force, the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA and the Department of the Army. It manufactures power and propulsion systems, including jet engines, for use in the aerospace, naval marine and energy sectors.
“We are eager to begin the important work of strengthening our hiring practices,” the company said in a released statement. “It’s important to note that the concerns raised as a result of the [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] review were specific to one job classification at one facility, and relate to hiring in 2017 only.”
The plant, located in the Crosspointe office park near Interstate 295, is expected to close in August of next year which will lead to 280 job losses on top of 120 layoffs made at the plant in June. The closing and firings are due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Rolls-Royce North America is a subsidiary of the london-based Rolls-Royce plc, with over 7,000 employees at 66 locations across the continent. Their headquarters are currently based in Reston, Virginia, after moving from Chantilly, Virginia.