FedEx is one of more than 200,000 businesses that work with the US federal government, which makes the shipping giant’s operations subject to evaluation by the Labor Department. Labor alleged that FedEx discriminated against more than 20,000 job applicants in multiple states, using unfair hiring practices that resulted in the underrepresentation of certain groups in its workforce, including women and minorities.
FedEx disagrees. The accusation of discrimination was the result of a computer statistical analysis of its new hires, which is open to interpretation and ignores too many factors. No complaints were made by actual people, the company points out. Of course the people who might have complained wouldn’t have access to the revealing landscape painted by the stats—they’d have only that lonely helpless feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Yet the statistics must necessarily miss countless intangibles that employers seek, distorting the picture further. What really happened? We won’t know. FedEx paid $3 million to make it go away, promising to revamp some of its practices. That’s so little money that even if the company wanted to prove its honor, the marketplace and its stockholders would not allow it.