Intelligent Waves of Reston settles hiring discrimination allegations from the Labor Department

The company has to pay money to people who they didn't hire because of discrimination.

Reston IT contractor Intelligent Waves agreed to a settlement and a series of procedural measures to resolve U.S. Department of Labor accusations of "systemic employment discrimination." This included a payment of 435, 000 dollars in backpay and interest to 14 Black job applicants affected by the allegations.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the Labor Department (OFCCP), during a routine audit of Intelligent Waves said that it had identified a statistically-significant disparity between the hiring of Black candidates for the company's test instrumentation technician jobs in Arizona and Nevada based on their race. The agreement didn't provide any further information about the alleged racism.

The OFCCP also claimed that the company did not keep accurate and complete records of testing, interviews, and other personnel and employment, nor had it implemented an internal auditing process and monitoring system, which would have shown the impact of its hiring processes on the employment opportunities for people based on their race, gender, or ethnicity.

Intelligent Waves, who does not acknowledge or deny any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement as part of its statement to Washington Business Journal, attributed the problem to an error with record-keeping. It cited "a strong anti-discrimination" policy since its inception and "a history of providing an inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees."

In a statement, the company explained that "this action refers only to one position and an incident which occurred almost three years ago. This was due to a record-keeping mistake when Intelligent Waves a small business." "None the employees involved in this incident has worked for Intelligent Waves after 2022." Intelligent Waves immediately implemented measures as soon as it was informed of the error in record-keeping.

Samuel Maiden, Director of the OFCCP Mid-Atlantic Region, confirmed that the parties moved immediately to resolve the issue. Maiden stated that the defendants did not provide a defense. They were extremely cooperative and reached a quick resolution after we provided them with our numbers and allegations. It's not usually as smooth and cooperative.

In accordance with their conciliation agreement Intelligent Waves has agreed to pay $435.368.12 towards a settlement fund in order to compensate 14 Black applicants for alleged discrimination during the hiring process from Nov. 5, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020. The names of the applicants were removed from the settlement agreement. However, OFCCP urged any other individuals who claim to have been affected during that time frame to visit their website for more information.

The agreement states that Intelligent Waves is also required to make job offers "with retroactive seniors" and give priority to other applicants if there are any test instrumentation technicians positions available until the list of 14 has been exhausted or at least five applicants have been hired.

The agreement also requires that the company evaluate its hiring process and ensure it is free of discrimination. It must also preserve all personnel files, create an internal auditing and reporting system to measure the effectiveness its affirmative actions program, hire the necessary human resource professionals, and regularly communicate with OFCCP while making these changes.

The agreement states that "the monitoring period will end once OFCCP has accepted Intelligent Waves' final report on progress,"

Jared Shepard (former CEO and current board chairman) founded the company in 2006, as a two man operation. It provides services in IT, cybersecurity and software development to clients from the public and private sectors. Tony Crescenzo was the former chief of Falls Church's IntelliDyne. He joined Intelligent Waves in 2020 as president, and he managed day-today operations until he became CEO last year.

The company has been awarded a $99.9-million follow-on contract with the U.S. Air Force in Nevada. It will be providing technology support for the Crowd Sourced Flight Data Program, located at Nellis Air Force Base. In February, shortly after receiving the award, the company informed us that they planned to increase their 300 employee headcount this year by 50% as a result.