A student-loan company agreed to pay a $700,000 fine after being accused of hiring discrimination — and nearly 2,000 impacted applicants are getting money back – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

A student-loan company agreed to pay a $700,000 fine after being accused of hiring discrimination — and nearly 2,000 impacted applicants are getting money back

The U.S. Department of Labor building is pictured in Washington on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Student-loan company Navient reached a settlement with the Labor Department over hiring discrimination allegations.
Navient denied any wrongdoing and will pay $700,000 to resolve the claims.
Impacted job applicants will be notified they are eligible to receive back pay from the settlement.

A major student-loan company just agreed to settle discrimination allegations in its hiring process.

The Labor Department announced on Monday that it reached a settlement with student-loan company Navient to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination at its Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas locations. A review by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said that Navient discriminated against 427 Black applicants for customer service jobs in Indiana and Pennsylvania, along with 1,858 Black and white applications for clerical positions in Texas.

Navient denied any wrongdoing, and the department said in the settlement agreement that “there has not been any adjudicated finding that Navient violated any laws. Navient spokesperson Paul Hartwick told Insider that “diversity is a priority for Navient because we know that we are a better service provider when our team reflects the communities and customers we serve, and we are committed to incorporating principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity in our hiring practices and culture.”

“Navient entered into this agreement to avoid the costs of litigation, made no admission of guilt or liability, and believes the findings are without merit,” he continued. “We are glad to put this matter behind us and are proud of the diversity of our team.”

Navient agreed to pay $700,000 in back pay and interest to resolve the allegations. According to documents included in the settlement agreement, impacted applicants will receive a letter from the OFCCP informing them that they may be eligible to receive funds through the settlement, and to participate, they will have to complete verification forms within 30 days of receiving the notice. The first notices, according to the settlement’s timeline, will go out on October 15, and the earliest date applicants will receive checks in the mail is February 25, 2024.

“The settlement with Navient Corp. reflects our commitment to preventing hiring discrimination and holding federal contractors accountable when they fail to meet the requirements of the law,” Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Samuel B. Maiden said in a statement.

Navient exited the federal student-loan servicing industry in 2021 and continues to service privately-held student loans. The company reached a separate settlement in 2022 with 39 state attorneys general to resolve allegations of “widespread unfair, deceptive, and abusive student loan servicing practices and abuses in originating predatory student loans,” per the press release at the time. Navient denied those allegations, as well. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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