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Palantir settles discrimination suit for $1.7M

Palantir Technologies has agreed to pay $1.7 million to eight people for alleged discrimination against Asian applicants for engineering jobs.

The Labor Department described it as systemic hiring discrimination. The eight people are getting back wages and stock options as well as job offers.

As a government contractor, Palantir is required to comply with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex or national origin. The executive order was first signed by President Lyndon Johnson and has been amended several times since then.

“We appreciate Palantir working with us to resolve these issues,” said Thomas Dowd, acting director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The case stems from 2010 and 2011, when the eight people were denied jobs at the Palo Alto, Calif. company, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Palantir is not admitting any wrong doing in the settlement. But the case put its various government contracts into jeopardy.

When the Labor Department filed its suit against the company in September, it said that if a resolution wasn’t reached then the department would request that all of the company’s government contracts be cancelled and that it be debarred from entering into future contracts.

The Peter Thiel-led company sees the government as a primary market for its data analytics offerings. The Defense Department, CIA and FBI have all used its products.

Palantir also is embroiled in a separate court case with the Army over a procurement system. Palantir has successfully argued in the Court of Federal Claims that the Army is violating federal laws that require the government to look for a commercial solution before building something on their own.

The Army is appealing the court decision involving the Army Distributed Common Ground Systems. The service has spent billions on the project over a decade or more with little result. Palantir claims it has products ready now that can do the job for much less.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 26, 2017 at 12:25 PM


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