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EHR Vendor Cerner Pays $1.8M to Settle Racial Discrimination Claims

The settlement will resolve racial discrimination claims alleging EHR vendor Cerner engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against qualified Black and Asian applicants.

EHR vendor Cerner has reached a settlement with the US Department of Labor to pay nearly $2 million to resolve primary findings of racial discrimination.

In a compliance review, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) alleged the company participated in discriminatory hiring practices against qualified Black and Asian applicants between 2015 to 2019.

OFCCP found Cerner Corp.’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

The Black and Asian applicants involved applied for positions to work at five facilities in Missouri and Kansas, specifically Cerner Oaks Campus and Cerner Innovations Campus in Kansas City, Missouri; and Cerner Corp. and Cerner Continuous Campus North Tower in Kansas City, Kansas.    

“Working together, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Cerner Corp. will ensure that the issues identified in this compliance evaluation are resolved and that Cerner puts into place procedures to ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity laws,” Carmen Navarro, Regional Director at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in Chicago.

Even though Cerner denies liability and the allegations, it has agreed to pay $1.86 million in back pay and interest to 1,870 applicants who sought employment as medical billing account/patient account specialists, system engineers, software interns, and technical solution analysts.

OFCCP launched the Class Member Locator to identify applicants or workers who may be entitled to monetary relief and consideration for job placement due to OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations.

Additionally, the EHR vendor, which holds federal contracts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will guarantee that its hiring procedures are monitored and free from discrimination.

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