Tech Industry

Palantir settles Labor Dept. racial discrimination lawsuit

The data miner agrees to pay $1.6 million to settle accusations it discriminated against Asian job applicants.

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Palantir headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

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Palantir has settled a Labor Department lawsuit that accused the data miner of discriminating against Asian job applicants.

The lawsuit, filed in September, accused the company of systematically rejecting Asian applicants for software engineering positions even though they were as qualified as white applicants. As part of the settlement, Palantir will pay $1.6 million in back wages and other monetary relief to eight individuals, the Labor Department said in a statement.

The Department of Labor filed the suit after reviewing applicant data Palantir is required to keep as a government contractor, said Rose Darling, an attorney involved in the lawsuit for the government. After conducting a statistical analysis of the data, the government discovered Asian applicants fell out of consideration at a high rate.

To maintain contracts with the government, contractors are obligated to ensure hiring practices aren't discriminatory. The government requires from those it works with, "promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity," according to the Department of Labor website.

"We appreciate Palantir working with us to resolve these issues," Thomas Dowd, acting director of the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said in a statement. "Together, we will ensure that the company complies with equal employment opportunity laws in its recruitment, hiring and other employment practices."

Palantir said it settled the lawsuit out of expediency rather than being at fault.

"We disagree with the allegations made by the Department of Labor," Palantir said in a statement. "We settled this matter, without any admission of liability, in order to focus on our work. We continue to stand by our employment record and are glad to have resolved this case."